He is probably the Premier League’s most underrated striker and not much went right for him on Wednesday night towards changing the general perception about him, but Olivier Giroud remains resolute to prove himself good enough to lead the Gunners to glory.
This desire has especially been ignited more following the intensified rumours linking Colombian striker, Jackson Martinez, with a move to the Premier League next summer, Arsenal being one very possible destination. The Gunners’ boss, Arsene Wenger, was heard this week gleefully extolling the qualities of the 28-year old Porto man and some have deemed it as a sign of keen interest in handing him the number 9 shirt by August.
“[He has] top physical strengths,” Wenger said in an interview about Porto with beIN Sports, as reported by the Express.
“Hugely efficient, he is the kind of player who can make room for himself in the box.
“He could play in the Premier League because he has the body to make the difference. He uses it in a very intelligent way. Very short back lift and he’s a very good finisher.”
“He’s on the list of many clubs, you know that,” the Frenchman added. “He will be the next big transfer who will give a big smile to [Porto owner] Pinto da Costa.”
Those words seemingly did not go down well with Giroud but rather than sulk and hold up the white flag, the former Monpellier Ligue 1 Champion is determined to prove just why his recent form should be seen as the stepping stone to some upcoming great moments in the Arsenal shirt.
“When people are talking about a player to come and take your place, you take it personally because it’s your position,” Giroud told French newspaper L’Equipe.
“I hear people say, ‘They have Giroud and Welbeck but they need a world class striker.’ Meaning, us, we’re not world-class forwards.
“It spurs you on. Recently, there was a buzz around Jackson Martinez. The coach has said good things about him, the player has said he would like to come.
“I learned that before the Middlesbrough game. It gave me added motivation. I was very happy to score those two goals.”
Injuries at the earlier part of the season means Giroud has only got 8 league goals this season but he will only place 17-goal kings, Costa and Aguero, as his real rivals in England at the moment, while promising to work more on his body language, especially when he has missed a chance.
“I don’t have an inferiority complex,” said Giroud. “I don’t have their name, but – in terms of stats – I am just behind Costa and Aguero.”
“When I put my head in my hands after missing a chance it annoys the coaches a little,” he said. “They want me to be more of a killer, almost insensitive.
“Diego Costa doesn’t show any emotion. I am more emotional. So I have learned to control my emotions.”
Perhaps the emotions of returning to listen to the Champions League songs after a year without the competition may have cost him his chances against Monaco but the Frenchman should be able to bounce backs strongly soon, having got the support of his manager after the game who described the performance as “a bad day”.
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