December 5 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Arsene Wenger believes that Olivier Giroud’s performances this season have been the perfect response to critics who suggested Arsenal needed to buy a new striker in the transfer window.
All summer the north Londoners were linked to top European club marksmen but failed to land Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney or Demba Ba.
Instead they signed untested French teenage striker Yaya Sanogo on free, and failed to offload Nicklas Bendtner, leaving compatriot Giroud as the club’s main hitman.
Yet he has risen to the challenge, firing five goals in seven appearances for the Gunners this term to follow on from the 17 he netted in his debut season for the club.
The manager said: “Everyday when he opened a newspaper he saw another striker coming here and he never made any statement but just played.
“For me, that’s the best answer you can give when you’re a football player. Don’t talk too much, play and show how good you are.
“Many people forget that sometimes but that’s the core of our job.”
But Wenger is convinced the former Montpellier man can excel in leading the line for Arsenal.
“He likes that,” said the 63-year-old. “He’s a positive guy with a positive charisma.
“He has a good physical, basic stamina and the guys that have that recover and can repeat the games.”
Wenger, who also allayed fears that the 26-year-old is carrying a knee injury, added: “I believe that he has improved technically and in his link play. That will come out through the season.
“He has a huge physical presence and he’s a type of striker that is very difficult to find these days.
“This is big test for Olivier but I’m sure he will have a great season.
“He has a belief, a positive mentality that comes out. He has good self esteem which is a very important quality when you’re a striker because you have to deal with a lot of pressure.
“It doesn’t affect him too much when he doesn’t always score but overall he’s got a very strong mentality.”
If his current form continues then Wenger freely admits he may have no need to go shopping for another goalscorer in the January transfer window, even if Manchester United ace Rooney is available.
“I will wait until December to see what is needed in the squad,” the manager said.
Wenger revealed the Sanogo is not yet fit but is being built up for the rigours of the Premier League, while forgotten man Bendtner could be available for the midweek Capital One Cup trip to West Brom.
Wenger added: “If all the three do well then we are in no need to buy any striker.”