Press conference

‘Giroud is not a sub, he’s a regular player’

Olivier Giroud’s name came up a number of times at Arsene Wenger’s pre-match press conference after the France striker salvaged a point for us at Southampton.

Giroud has now scored 17 goals in games he’s not started but the manager sees him as much more than an impact substitute:

on Olivier Giroud’s record from the bench…
He is not a sub for me, he is a regular player, but I have plenty of good strikers and you cannot play all of them together.

on whether Giroud speaks to him about the situation…
I speak to all of my players, but it’s very difficult to speak about what we talk about openly. [Reporter asks Wenger to reveal those conversations] Yes, you would love that! You know enough already.

on whether Giroud is an important player…
He is a very important player and I have big respect for Olivier Giroud. If you look at his career since he came here, look how many French caps he’s got since he has been at Arsenal. He has not wasted his time. I can understand the frustration of every player that doesn’t play, but that’s part of the job when you go to a big club.

on Giroud wanting to start more games…
Yes, of course [I can see why]. First of all he has played many games, much more than people speak about. He has played more minutes since the start of the season than Lacazette. That is not always well known. When you are at a big club you have many big strikers and nobody can guarantee that you will play.

on him possibly leaving in January…
I read that [article], but it is not exactly what he said. Personally I want him to stay until the end of the season and then we will see.

on Giroud not starting a league game…
Of course, but I can give you 10 more cases. Every players who does not play wants to start in the Premier League, that is absolutely normal. When you have three games like we have this week in six days, there is an opportunity for them to start.