Giroud: I have started better than Robin van Persie
Arsenal news: Olivier Giroud claims he has had a better start to his Gunners career than Robin van Persie
Olivier Giroud says he has made a good start to his Arsenal career and believes he has been more impressive than former captain Robin van Persie when he first joined the Gunners.
Speaking to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Giroud acknowledged he had suffered some in the early days after moving to Emirates Stadium but feels he has started to approach his best.
Manager Arsene Wenger signed Giroud from Ligue 1 champions Montpellier in the summer and he was tipped as the replacement for Van Persie when the Dutchman made the move to Manchester United.
The France international struggled to make an impact early on, which led to many commenters writing him off and claiming there was no way he would get close to replacing the 30 Premier League goals that left Emirates Stadium with Van Persie’s move to Old Trafford.
However, things have been improving for Giroud in recent months and he is now on a respectable tally of 14 goals and 10 assists for the season, including five goals in his last four games.
That is a tally Van Persie could not get close to in his first season after joining Arsenal from Feyenoord as a 20-year-old in 2004, though Giroud does acknowledge the age adifference.
“For the first season ... It's better than Van Persie when he arrived here, although when he arrived at Arsenal he was younger,” said the 26-year-old.
Wenger was linked with bringing in another forward in the January transfer window, with players such as Barcelona’s David Villa and Schalke goal machine Klaas-Jan Huntelaar mentioned as possible targets.
Giroud admitted talk of other strikers being drafted into the north Londoners’ front line had been a little unsettling.
Though he confirmed Wenger’s disdain for the winter window and was always confident the French tactician would not stifle his development by dropping him for another forward.
“The British press has talked so much. The coach does not really like the winter market,” he added.
"It would be hypocritical to say that I did not think about it. After that, I have always believed that the coach would leave me time; I did not see him cutting the grass under my feet.”