Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has wanted to prove his earlier doubters that he had the ability to be a top footballer, using it as fuel to work harder to succeed.
The Frenchman received some criticism while a teenager from a former coach but has worked hard to become one of the Premier League’s top strikers.
Giroud was instrumental in Montpellier’s title win in 2010/11, and has gone from strength to strength over the past few years becoming a fully fledged French international, even nudging regular Karim Benzema from his mantle as his countries main centre forward.
So far the striker has a respectable eight goals in 16 appearances this season but it his hard work and hold up play that is consistently impressing the Arsenal faithful.
While he had his skeptics when he was young, the tall Frenchman has proved what self belief, plenty of graft and tenacity can achieve.
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Giroud, who faced the media alongside Arsene Wenger, said in the pre-match press conference ahead of his sides tie against Borussia Dortmund:
It was a long time ago – I was really young, [around] 19. I was maybe not mature enough.
I grew up step by step and proved that I could score a lots of goals and did well. I improved myself and had the trust and confidence to continue.
I succeeded in Ligue 1 and won the championship. Everything I did on the pitch is my answer for people who wanted to maybe blame me.
I tried to do my job on the pitch and score goals. Never mind the people who did not believe in my qualities and my game. I don’t care about it now.
I am OK with my body – physically I feel well. The difference with last season is [my] confidence and maybe the boss has helped me with my technique.
We have worked on it at the training ground. It is about concentration and focus. The difference is I could [also] add is a good pre-season. I felt good since the beginning. I scored lots of goal and that was good for my confidence. I have helped the team to win, touch wood.
Giroud has been an instrumental figure in Arsenal’s superb run of form this season contributing heavily in most attacks. His power up front has been a useful asset and something we haven’t been blessed with for some time.
He certainly isn’t the most elegant centre forward around but the Frenchman is doing an excellent job for the Gunners. Our midfielders are free scoring at present so some of the pressure has been off his shoulders. If he can remain injury free for the season then there is no doubt he will have had the best campaign of his career.
Arsenal will need him firing on all cylinders tonight if they want to overcome a resilient and powerful Dortmund side.