Olivier Giroud defends debut Premier League campaign

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his second and his team's fifth goal against West Ham on January 23, 2013
© PA Photos
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud claims that his first season in English football is better than Thierry Henry or Didier Drogba's debut Premier League campaigns.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has insisted that his debut season in English football compares favourably to top strikers Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba.

The French international has 17 goals in all competitions for the Gunners this season after making a £13m move from Montpellier last summer.

Giroud believes that he has received harsh criticism during his first Premier League campaign, but is adamant that he has the quality to succeed and improve at the Emirates Stadium.

He told The Times: "I replaced Robin van Persie and when you arrive at a big club like that, they are very demanding towards you.

"The criticism has not always been deserved, but they push you on. Seventeen goals and 11 assists, that is better than Henry and Drogba in their first seasons.

"This is the quality I have. I have got better with this team and this staff, it is another level. And I want to continue to improve."

The 26-year-old is currently two games into a three-match suspension after being sent off against Fulham at Craven Cottage last month.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before the match against Bayern Munich on March 13, 2013
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