I have always backed Olivier Giroud to prove his doubters wrong, even when he took a while to get going after joining Arsenal from then champions of France Montpellier in the summer of 2012. His stats from previous clubs suggested that he got better with time and his all round contribution to the Arsenal cause was almost as important as scoring the goals we had lost with the departure of that baby boy Robin van Persie.
But one of the criticisms levelled at the big Frenchman, no matter how well he was playing, was that he was not an adequate replacement for the Dutchman. How many Arsenal fans still hold to that I wonder, because although van Persie did well and won the title in his first season at Man United, his powers have been on the wane ever since while Giroud continues to improve and make himself a real star with Arsenal.
We can only guess how well he and Arsenal would have done without that unfortunate tibia break, but looking at the stats comparison on Squawka.com based on minutes played between him and our former striker, Giroud is far and away the better player this season.
I have also included the stats for both from last season and that also emphasises that improvement I was talking about. He is only one goal behind RvP this season, despite starting just eight games compared to the United man’s 20 and will surely finish with more by the end. And as I said, goals are just one facet of his game, so do you agree that Giroud really has proved to be a good replacement?