Olivier Giroud was brought in at Arsenal to replace Robin van Persie, who left for Manchester United, but received criticism from Gunners fans as he struggled to adapt to his new role.

Giroud, who joined the north London outfit from Montpellier, found it difficult to fill the void left by Van Persie who was the Premier League's top scorer in the season prior to his departure.

The Frenchman managed 17 goals and 10 assists last season, but has found his feat at the Emirates and has quickly become a favourite amongst Gunner's fans.

The 27-year-old already has six goals this season including one against Napoli last night in his sides 2-0 win against Rafael Benitez's side.

Despite finding his feat Giroud admits he has not forgotten the criticism he had early on in his Arsenal career.

"At a point in time last year, certain things annoyed me," he told France Football. "I wasn't hurt, I wouldn't go that far. But they p***ed me off.

"You run yourself into the ground on the pitch, you do yourself in, and you get the impression that people didn't see the game. At the end of the match, they just look at the score and don't see the content.

"It's perhaps also due to my game, I've always made those around me play. Perhaps I think too much about others, but that mustn't change. I have to stay myself."

Giroud also explained that he felt under more pressure than he does now because he was brought in to replace Van Persie.

"When I arrived last year, subconsciously, I perhaps put myself under more pressure than I do today, perhaps too much because - in inverted commas - I'd 'replaced' Van Persie," said the striker.

"I tried to keep myself free of that, but of course I thought about it. At the start of last season, honestly, I wasn't doing the right things. When it came to finishing, I was tense. You would have said I was as stiff as a stick. By winning my place over the course of the matches, I played a little less with the handbrake on."

Giroud also cited his turn around in form and confidence to the arrival of Mesut Ozil, who arrived from Real Madrid for £42.5 million, as well as the fact that he is enjoying himself more.

"When you arrive in this position, you have to have ambition, know what you're getting yourself into. Now, you're in the big boy's playground. I wanted to be here, at a big club, but you have to accept that afterwards," said Giroud.

"I say it again, I'm happy with my first season and I'm happy with my good start of this season. Frankly, I'm really enjoying myself right now."

"We've picked up a great number ten who's going to chip in. They're going to say it's easier to score at Arsenal now that there's Ozil. That if Giroud scores, it's because there's Ozil. But Giroud scored before Ozil arrived."

Before arriving at the Emirates Giroud finished as Ligue 1 top scorer which secured Montpellier's first-ever French title.

And the Frenchman admits he has gone through some tough times to get where he is today.

"I've had to root around in the shit to get where I am. That's a great source of strength. I've always had to fight. That's why I've succeeded, because I've always been hungry. I'm more hungry than ever. I'm enjoying it, but the more I progress, there's less which seems inaccessible to me.

"It's a dream. But the key to my success has always been to set myself reasonable targets. I've developed like that, stage-by-stage. Before I can think about the Ballon d'Or, before I get into the top ten players in the world, I first have to think about being among the top ten strikers in England."

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
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