‘Giroud always finds the answer’

Olivier Giroud

Arsene Wenger was asked about Olivier Giroud by the media on Thursday. This is what he had to say:


Close Up: Giroud

on Olivier Giroud’s fitness…At the start it was his fitness. After it was his injury. On the toe, the big toe and he tried to force it and made it worse. When he came on against Chelsea he made it worse again and since he has not kicked a ball.

on if he was surprised he played in the France game…No, because in France they played… He was on the way up and France just came at the right time to have a game. But I thought the two games with France would help him get his fitness back but after that he got his injury.

on when he will return…He needs two weeks’ preparation from now.

on Alexis in a new role…I think from game to game he’s improving in this position. It’s completely different style to Giroud, but… he’s more dribbler, a guy who comes to the ball, a guy who runs at people with the ball. Olivier is more a game who brings other players in. They are two interesting styles. For example, in a game like a Burnley when we couldn’t score you would’ve liked to have had Olivier with you. People always ask you why does he not play, but if you only one striker to go in the team people say as well why don’t you have another striker? You cannot play with one. We have as well Lucas, who is doing very well. Welbeck is coming back.

on Giroud’s relationship with the fans…It’s a bit the fate of the strikers. When they score they are heroes, when they don’t they are quickly the target of the stands. I think overall our fans like him and respect him a lot.

"When I go into a big game I always know I can rely on him. You know that he’s a kind of guy that when the competition starts he will be with you."

Arsene Wenger

on getting stick from French fans before Euro 2016…Yes, but he turned it around. Before the competition, the supporters didn’t want him. After, he turned them round and in the end everybody was behind him. And that’s one of the strengths of Olivier. Mentally, he is very strong. He has a genuine commitment. Nobody questions any more his sincere commitment and I think in the head of everybody in France he is the main striker.

on whether it knocks his confidence…It does, of course. He’s not in metal. He’s as well sensitive but he’s sensitive and strong. Everybody wants to be loved. I’ve never seen anyone who dreams to be hated. But it is to deal with the fact that it doesn’t always go your way that makes a man.

on dealing with negative reaction…I think a striker especially has to be capable to deal with that. There are periods where they are questioned and I am an admirer of Giroud because he has gone through some tough times and everybody bounces back. When his back is to the wall, he has an answer every time. When I go into a big game I always know I can rely on him. You know that he’s a kind of guy that when the competition starts he will be with you.

on if Giroud will be plan B when he’s fit…I don’t know yet. Alexis can also play on the flank like he has before. He’s happy to play on the flank or up front. I will have to try to find the best solution game by game.

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