We often hear about how important it is for a professional footballer to be self confident in order to play their best and that is probably more true of the strikers whose job it is to score the crucial goals that the game is all about. So it is good to hear that the Arsenal and France international Olivier Giroud is bursting with self-belief at the minute.
With nine goals from his last nine games, who can blame him? There have been a few statistical reports recently comparing Giroud´s record this season with the top strikers in the Premier League, showing such things as him scoring a Premier League goal every 97 minutes and there was even one that showed our centre forward had overtaken the current Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo with his goals in 2015.
Giroud admits that he has been happy to see these reports, as reported by ESPN, and that it shows just how much he has improved since joining Arsenal from Montpellier a few years ago. But our centre forward also claims that he does not really need the credit or criticism from the media to judge himself by, as he knows full well if he has been doing the business on the pitch or not.
Giroud said, “It’s my best spell since I’ve been at Arsenal. I have to keep it going, I don’t want to stop. I scored 16 or 17 goals last season in the league. I would like to do better, and above all help the team achieve our objectives. That’s the most important thing.
“Finishing second or third would be very good, even if we’ll be ready if Chelsea slip up. Winning the FA Cup is also an objective. I am continuing my progress. I feel really good at Arsenal. It’s important to keep improving.
“I saw that [goal every 97 mins] statistic, it’s an interesting one. That means that there has been an improvement since I arrived at Arsenal. The coach keeps telling me. I have improved in a lot of areas of the game. I want to continue, I can still do better. I still have plenty of good years ahead of me.
“Of course, it came at a bad time, because I wasn’t clinical in that [Monaco] game.
“I got a bit of stick for that. But it’s good to have shown the mental strength to come back even stronger and prove that the criticism no longer affects me. I have created a shell for myself, whether there are good or bad times. I know when I am good or not. I don’t need people to tell me that.”
I do like the way that Giroud´s confidence does not stop him wanting to and believing that he can improve. And the belief that Arsenal could still take advantage of any slips by the teams above us tells me that the whole club is feeling pretty good right now.
How can Arsenal make sure that this confidence and improvement leads to the tile though?