By Lloyd Webb
Arsene Wenger says "there is no better player" than Olivier Giroud for a presence in the penalty area.
The striker has claimed 26 goals this calendar year and has continued his fine form in December, scoring a hat-trick against Olympiacos on Wednesday night.
Wenger feels Giroud does not get enough credit he deserves, but says he offers something vital to the Arsenal team.
"That shows you that he has mental strength"
"If you go on counter-attack of course he is not the kind of player that you want or select first," the manager said. "That is why when we played against Bayern, I chose [Theo] Walcott because you know you play more in your own half and you have to go out quickly.
“But when you dominate the game and need presence in the box there is no better player than Olivier. He gives everything in every session, he is not a guy who plays within himself, but he has a good stamina, good power. When you stand next to him as a defender, it is difficult to get in front of him because he is very strong.
"I believe as well because he is not an electric type of player, he gets less spectacular actions and less credit as well [because of that]. You see a guy who is electric and you say ‘that is fantastic’. But the kind of header he scored for the first goal [at Olympiacos], you do not get so much credit.
“Olivier wants to work more,” he continued. “You need to show that you don't lose your confidence, but he’s ready to put a shift in and to work harder. I like the career of a guy who has come down and comes up again.
"That shows you that he has mental strength. Life was not easy for him in sport because he was in small clubs and came up and plays at Arsenal. That means he has the mental strength. Mental selection is the most difficult when you go down and then come up again and he has that strength.”
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