Olivier Giroud's boasts about bettering Thierry Henry are incorrect

Olivier Giroud is not afraid of boasting his credentials from his first season with Arsenal.

Confidence is fine providing you can back it up, and in recent seasons Arsenal fans have seen players with it, who either couldn't or have struggled.

Those past references begin with super-confident striker Nicklas Bendtner, now somehow a league champion with Juventus, but really the Dane has never lived up to his potential and past promises.

Then there is the case of Wojciech Szczesny who this time last season made all the right noises about being confident for a title challenge, only for him to suffer a particularly poor season form-wise and the team to fail to hit the heights he aspired to.

Now there is the curious case of Olivier Giroud, the Frenchman who is not shy of expressing his opinion that he has been success in his first season, despite the demands on him being tougher than he could have imagined thanks to Van Persie's exit.

But one thing did catch our eye, where he was at pains to insist that he had bettered the first seasons in English football of Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba.

Giroud's strike record this season looks like this: 17 goals scored in all competitions, of which 11 came in the Premier League.

"I've scored 17 goals and had 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. I want to continue to improve."

But here's the catch, Giroud is wrong in claiming he has bettered the Arsenal icon, because he hasn't.

In Thierry Henry's first season with Arsenal, in 1999-2000, he scored more goals than Giroud has, 26 in total in all competitions.

He also scored 17 of these in the Premier League, again better than Giroud.

Ah, but I hear you say, what about Giroud's 11 assists? Surely that means a goal contribution which is higher overall?

Wrong, for Thierry Henry also had, you guessed it, 11 assists in his first season.

So it's a bit embarrassing really for Giroud, to have claimed to have bettered an Arsenal legend only to have failed to, or to try to re-write history.

If he has a shocker next season, he could retrospectively end up looking like the Gunners' not-so-great Dane, which nobody wants.

But he is correct with one assertion; he did better Didier Drogba's first season with Chelsea- The Ivorian scored 16, of which 10 came in the Premier League, and provided five assists.

Although as Drogba would be keen to point out, setting the bar low is no bad thing if you can continue rising higher. Now Giroud has to better his 17 goals next season otherwise he will be seen to have regressed.

Fortunately his confidence could just be a helping hand in his quest to do so. Otherwise it may be his undoing.

image: © wonker

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