Olivier Giroud says it’s a shame that Thierry Henry singled him out for criticism, and hinted he’s been left wounded by the remarks of the club’s record goalscorer.
Following the 0-0 draw with Chelsea, Henry – up until then a fairly bland presence on Sky Sports – took aim at the former Montpellier man, saying Arsenal could not win the league with him in the team.
“I think Giroud is doing extremely well,” said Henry, “but can you win the league with him? I wouldn’t think so. He does a job, and he does it ever so well, but you can’t win the league.”
Giroud was defended by Arsene Wenger this week who said, “Nobody can win you the Premier League title alone. Olivier Giroud is part of the squad and he has done extremely well.
“He’s scored 14 goals in the Premier League in 20 games. He works very hard for the team. Alone, of course he cannot win it.”
And tonight, the HFB hit back at Henry suggesting he’d been pressured into saying something more controversial.
Speaking to L’Equipe 21, he said, “I heard he was saying too many dull things. That was a bomb and it had its desired effect.
“It was surprising to hear him take apart the team. I say ‘team’ because it wasn’t just me, it was the spine. I think he’s wrong”
“I didn’t enjoy hearing it. Coming from an ex-France and Arsenal striker, it’s a shame. It was a bit easy for him to say that after Chelsea game.
“We were doing well, unbeaten in 10, my stats were good. It hurt my pride.”
He also suggested there might have been another motive for Henry’s comments, saying, “Maybe he was angry that I needed fewer games than him to score 50 goals for Arsenal”, although he did laugh and suggest he was being a bit tongue in cheek.
Anyway, Henry’s comments have coincided with a goalscoring drought for Giroud. It’s more than likely coincidence, but the best way he could have answered him is knocking in a few and continuing what had been excellent form until then.
Maybe a cup final winner would be a good response.
Quotes via @mattspiro – who you should be following for all your French football needs.