On Saturday French publication L’Equipe printed an interview with Olivier Giroud in which the striker chatted about life in England, the pressures of following in the footsteps of successful countrymen, Arsenal’s title ambitions and some guff about the meaning behind his tattoos.
While some of the above filtered into the British press (“I picked the wrong time to join Arsenal,” screamed the tragically hyperbolic headline in the Mail), less covered were his views on the club’s attacking play.
Accepting that he and his teammates have not been creating enough chances this season, Giroud spoke candidly about the need for more variety in the final third and his desire to see the ball crossed into the box earlier.
“We have to be more effective in all areas of the game,” he stated. “More realistic. More varied, also. We build the game from the back and it takes a while for the ball to reach the attacker.
“I have to adapt to that. When you are a striker, you hope for more crosses, as well. We aren’t very spontaneous when we’re in a position to cross. I’ve talked about that with my colleagues.
“…maybe we have to impose ourselves more on the game. But wait, I’ve got no pretentions to be the manager; just I have the chance to be in a club where we can talk about things.”
Reflecting on the improvements he has made to his own game since arriving in the summer, Giroud made clear that he had been inspired by the quality in Arsene Wenger’s ranks to push himself to a higher level.
“I’m more demanding of myself. More concentrated. More professional. More applied. In training, in matches. When I miss a ball, I say to myself ‘…You have to work on that!’.
“You are surrounded by players more technically adept than before, so you have to get up to their level. I know myself, I can tend to just go with it if I am comfortable. People have always said that. On coming here, I have got rid of that. I am guided by a constant desire (to be better).”
So long as the entire team is driven by a similar desire to improve we shouldn’t have too many problems leaving our current funk behind. It certainly looks as though we’ve made a start after much more dynamic display against West Bromwich Albion.