Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Giroud shoots down Van Persie record

Olivier Giroud has scored 14 goals and made several assists for the Gunners since his arrival

France striker Olivier Giroud believes he has enjoyed a better start to his Arsenal career than when Robin van Persie first arrived at the club.

The 26-year-old arrived at Emirates Stadium in the summer from Montpellier following Van Persie's £24million sale to Manchester United. Giroud has since scored 14 goals and made several assists for the Gunners, leaving him feeling positive about his impact at the club.

Speaking to French newspaper L'Equipe, Giroud said: "I do not know of an attacker who is not interested in his numbers. Since the beginning of the season, I registered 14 goals and given 11 assists, for the first season. It is better than the start Van Persie had, even though when he arrived at Arsenal, he was younger."

There can, of course, be no direct comparison between the two players, with Van Persie having arrived at Highbury as very much a raw talent in May 2004 before eventually going on to establish himself as one of the most formidable forwards in world football.

As much as Giroud has settled quickly into the hustle-and-bustle of the English game, the France striker knows there is still plenty of hard work ahead. In a separate interview with Le Parisien, Giroud said: "It is all going to plan, but I can do better.

"I am fortunate to have a coach who I can talk to. Recently we made a video and he talked me through how I can improve. On the pitch we know what we are doing. There is a trust and communication between us."

It had taken Giroud some seven appearances before finally getting off the mark in a Capital One Cup tie against Coventry, but with five goals in his last four games, he does not intend to look back.

Giroud added: "As a striker you can't doubt yourself - in a career you will have periods of scarcity. You must be positive constantly and I am like that. Here, it is a requirement at a very high level. When you have an opportunity you must take it. When it is not easy, you have to look ahead and demand more from yourself. That is just my motto."

Giroud is part of Les Bleus squad set to face Germany at the Stade de France on Wednesday evening, with most of Arsene Wenger's first-team squad away on international duty, including Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with England against Brazil at Wembley.

Arsenal will head to Sunderland on Saturday looking to maintain momentum from their recent unbeaten run, which has seen them close back up on fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and move into the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they will tackle Blackburn at home next weekend.