By Chris Harris
Olivier Giroud's new team won't be favourites to win the league this season - but that hasn't stopped him from winning the title before.
Arsenal have designs on the Premier League crown in 2012/13 but are as long as 14/1 to succeed Manchester City as champions. Montpellier were even less fancied to win Ligue 1 last term but, with Giroud to the fore, the south of France club finished three points clear of their far wealthier rivals, Paris St-Germain.
Giroud was the joint top scorer in Ligue 1 with 21 goals and also contributed nine assists in a memorable campaign. He believes that Arsenal have the quality and mentality to emulate Montpellier and upset the Premier League favourites.
"It’s true that it was an extraordinary season with Montpellier," Giroud told Arsenal Player. "I won’t ever forget that season because in a footballer’s career, winning the title isn’t forgotten so fast.
"There was a good mentality in the team, good quality, with some good players, and I look forward to finding that quality and spirit with Arsenal - that’s why I chose Arsenal.
"With Montpellier, it wasn’t written that we were going to be champions, so that’s what made it more beautiful. With Arsenal, we might not be favourites, like the Manchester clubs, to be champions. We’re outsiders, but I’m convinced that we can do something big. That’s what we did with Montpellier, and I'm proud with what I accomplished there."
At 25, Giroud is a relatively late developer in football terms, but he made up for lost time to take the French league by storm.
"I scored two hat-tricks [last season] so, for the confidence of a striker, that’s important," he said. "You move up in the top scorers table, and that gives you a lot of confidence.
"For a striker it is important to score goals and I’ve done that my whole career. It allows you to progress and not to fall into periods of doubt, so I brought some confidence and serenity to the Montpellier team last season.
"Our goal was not to be champions and we didn’t think we had the team to be champions, so it was great to be able to be win the title with a team like that, and with the team spirit that we had. I’m sure that the club will now be among the best teams in France."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Aug 2012