Olivier Giroud

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Press conference

‘Giroud will start more games’

Arsène Wenger called on Olivier Giroud after 72 minutes at Southampton on Sunday.

A quarter of an hour later, the France striker expertly flicked home our equaliser at St Mary’s.

After the match, the boss was asked whether Giroud will still be at the club come February. Read on for a full transcript of his answer.

on whether Giroud will leave in January…
In your question is the answer, because you say he is important - why should we lose an important player?

on whether it is up to Giroud or Wenger…
It is up to us.

on whether he will start more games…
He will start more games. I believe as well it’s always the same when you have many good players, some of them cannot play. The question you get is always why does the guy who is good not play? Because if you take him on you have another guy who is good who will not play, it is as simple as that.

Interview

‘Giroud is one of the few who can do that'

Olivier Giroud underlined his enduring value to our squad with yet another late goal to salvage a point at Southampton.

The France striker rose to head Alexis’ cross past Fraser Forster and take his tally of goals as a substitute to 17 in the Premier League.

Only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can match that record for a single club - Jermain Defoe has 23 from spells with various sides - and Arsene Wenger believes Giroud has a rare gift.

“He has presence,” the boss told Arsenal.com. “You need it [strength] in the air and he is one of the few in the league who can do that.

“You have to be absolutely in admiration of his mental quality but as well when team has its back to the wall, he’s always got something special to help the team.”

Wenger was both relieved and frustrated at the end of Sunday’s game. Relieved that we didn’t leave St Mary’s empty-handed; frustrated that we didn’t leave with more.

“We could have lost the game and when you cannot win it you don’t lose it,” he said.

“It is a difficult place to come, Southampton are a good side and I felt again we paid a heavy price for a slow start.

“We continued to attack, you could see that, again these kind of teams are difficult to play, but we were relentless and didn’t give up. I think we could have won, but they as well had a few chances on the counter-attack.”

Interview

Giroud - How I was able to make an impact

Olivier Giroud just keeps scoring at vital times.

Our striker has won us five points this season alone with goals scored in the closing stages of matches. In fact, in 2017, he’s scored 10 times in the 80th minute or later.

Giroud again came to the rescue at Southampton on Sunday - and after the game he discussed why he was able to make an impact.

on coming off the bench and scoring…
I always try to bring something for the team when I come on the pitch. Today we missed having players in the box, so I tried to bring that. It was a good cross from Alexis and I tried to be at the right place at the right time. It’s nice to come back because since the beginning of the second half, we were pushing and pushing. We are pleased with this point because it’s always difficult to play there.

on defensive mistakes costing the team again…
The boss said we wanted to start strongly and finish strongly. We were caught behind our defenders at the beginning of the game and Charlie did well - he could have scored a brace. Fortunately for us it was only 1-0 and we were able to come back at the end. It’s a good point. 

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