Giroud: Henry jibe hurt my pride

The Arsenal legend criticised the current Gunners striker earlier this season and the 28-year-old admits that he was “irritated” by the former star’s statement

Olivier Giroud admits Thierry Henry’s criticism of his attributes hurt his pride but says that such statements are merely “part of the game”.

Henry claimed earlier this season that Arsenal needed to recruit a marquee striker in order to win the Premier League, while casting doubt on Giroud’s ability to lead the line in a title-chasing team.

“I think Giroud is doing extremely well but can you win the league with him? I wouldn’t think so,” he told Sky Sports after Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea.

The France international, who is currently preparing to face Belgium on Sunday, scored 19 goals in 2014-15, including a strike in the 4-0 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa, and says that Henry’s jibe hit him hard.

“I will never win unanimous support,” he told reporters. “Apparently Titi (Henry) corrected himself recently.

“He said that he was thinking about competition, that he wanted Arsenal to have many strikers who can score goals.

“He was a little brutal at the time, so it caused a fuss, but that is what he’s asked to do as a pundit and I didn’t lose any sleep over it.

“Of course, it hurts your pride – it brings into question the work you do every day. It irritates you, and I was a little annoyed, but I quickly put it behind me. I talked to the coach (Wenger) and the most important thing is to have the support of the people around you, who have faith in you, the staff, my team-mates.

“We can only answer on the pitch and that is also why the FA Cup was important.”

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