I don't listen to criticism, says hitman Giroud

Event host Jade Seah interviewing Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud - along with his Gunners team-mates (from left) Wojciech Szczesny, Gabriel Paulista, Hector Bellerin and Mikel Arteta - at the launch of the club's new away kit at the Esplanade Outdoor
Event host Jade Seah interviewing Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud - along with his Gunners team-mates (from left) Wojciech Szczesny, Gabriel Paulista, Hector Bellerin and Mikel Arteta - at the launch of the club's new away kit at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre yesterday.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

He may have been criticised by club legends Thierry Henry and Ian Wright but Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud believes that he has the self-belief and work ethic to prove the doubters wrong.

Speaking at a Puma event to launch the Gunners' new away kit at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, the French international was keen to emphasise that he would not let the critics affect him.

Giroud, who scored 14 English Premier League goals last season, said: "To be honest, when you're a football player, you don't have to listen to people's words commenting on your performance.

"The main thing is to not fall into doubt. When you miss a game or cannot play sometimes, the best thing is to bounce back straight away, to keep your head up and to trust in your qualities."

Giroud revealed he had spoken to former Arsenal captain Henry "man-to-man", and said with a smile: "I know Thierry, I know what he wanted to mean. I'm not going to be upset about that."

Henry had earlier said that for the Gunners to win the EPL title again, they would need to sign a "top, top striker". When asked about the rumours of Arsenal signing a new forward, Giroud was unfazed by the potential threats even as Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is touted as a target.

He said: "When you're a footballer, you have to deal with the competition.

"I think I need to be a better football player, and I'm okay with that.

"I try to always improve myself, focus on my game."

And the 28-year-old believes that he has upgraded his repertoire since arriving at the Emirates Stadium in 2012 from Montpellier.

He said: "I think I (have improved myself) physically, technically. I'm a better team-mate as well, because Arsenal is not one player, it is a team working together, and I try to set up the game."

The Puma event was attended by some 600 Arsenal fans, who were among the first in the world to see the new away strip.

Besides Giroud, Arsenal players Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Oezil , Petr Cech, Wojciech Szczesny, Jack Wilshere and Gabriel Paulista were also present to the delight of the crowd.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'I don't listen to criticism, says hitman Giroud'. Print Edition | Subscribe