New boy Olivier Giroud says that although he’ll feel some pressure in the wake of Robin van Persie’s departure, and the expectation on him to fill the gap, he’s ready for the challenge.
In a lengthy interview in today’s Observer, the Frenchman says he’d have liked the Dutchman to stay at the club but knows his departure means he’s likely to play more, for all that entails.
“If Robin had not gone it would have been fine, it would have allowed me to adapt more progressively and with more time,” he said.
“But I don’t want to be fussy. I am happy. It works for me, because when you are a footballer you want to play. Inevitably, with Robin gone it will give me more playing time. People will expect a lot, and I really feel the desire to fulfil this expectation. It is better than if I was sitting on the bench.”
Giroud won the title with Montpellier last season and sees some similarity to the the challenge that Arsenal face in the Premier League this season. If Arsenal aren’t quite as ‘lowly’ as his former club, there are other Premier League teams whose resources are enormous. But Giroud believes winning the title is not an impossibility and that last season’s success is a sign that money doesn’t always win out.
“It’s a good example for Arsenal. We don’t have the money of the Manchester clubs or Chelsea. Arsenal builds its team through training, through recruiting players who can become something.
“Arsenal has less money than some other clubs so we have to fight with other values. The collective, the group spirit, is good. We have an important role to play in this championship. ”
“Is it possible to win the league? Honestly, it will be complicated. Because the competition is fierce. But who knows?”