Arsenal's £12m man proves the criticism is not justified

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud matched Thierry Henry's second-season goal haul at Arsenal with his strike on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud has had plenty of critics this season, but in scoring against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, the Arsenal striker matched a record of one his most illustrious footballing countrymen – Thierry Henry.

In Henry’s second season at Arsenal, he scored a total of 22 goals in all competitions, and Giroud has now equalled that with two matches to spare.

There will be plenty of Gunners fans who say the two men should not be compared, that they are completely different players, that one is a legend of the game and the other is…well…Giroud.

But the simple fact is whatever you think of the current Arsenal striker, he has been doing what he is paid to, with 16 Premier League goals, three FA Cup strikes and three efforts in Europe to date this season.

Yes, Wenger should have spent big on a new striker back in January, but it is not Giroud’s fault that his manager opted to bring in only Kim Kallstrom, or that two of his main supply-lines – Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott – suffered serious injuries just as it looked like Arsenal were about to end their long wait for a league title.

Will Giroud go on to match Henry’s achievements at Arsenal? He almost will certainly not. But in matching the ex-Gunner’s second-season haul, he has showed he is not the poor striker many have painted him as.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch