Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Olivier Giroud after the French striker bagged his second brace of the week to help Arsenal overcome a spirited Brighton side in the FA Cup.
The summer signing a fantastic goal in each half and could have had a hat-trick as he tirelessly led the line in an enthralling match at the AMEX stadium.
Speaking to the press after the match, the boss touched on how much the former Montpellier man has improved in recent weeks:
“It’s good for his confidence [that he scored twice]. He’s scored four goals this week and he had a few more chances today. He gets there.
“He has a presence in the box, he’s dangerous and his physical presence was very important today.”
Asked if he might try and sign another striker during the January window, 24 hours after pretty much dismissing suggestions he’d be active before it closes, the boss admitted that his squad was a little short of options in attacking departments with Gervinho away on international duty.
“Quality-wise no [we don’t need another striker], number-wise, we could be a bit short maybe. Gervinho is not here at the moment.
“We have Walcott, who can play through the middle and then of course Giroud.
“You do not find them in the street, the strikers that can play for us and strengthen our team. It’s difficult in January.”
Reflecting on the 3-2 win, which sees the Gunners into the pot for the 5th Round draw tomorrow afternoon, Wenger also spoke of his admiration for Gus Poyet’s side.
“Brighton are a good team. They made it very difficult for us. We had a little bit of a slow start.
“They were sharper than us in the first half. In the second half, we were much more in the game and created chances. They [Brighton] play a game that is a very positive, technical game and they had a great spirit today.
“On their right flank, they gave us many problems. In the end, we’ve got that extra bit of quality that got us through. It’s a cup game – you need to go through and that’s what we did.
“We did our job but we needed to fight until the end.”