Arsene Wenger says he’s impressed by the way Olivier Giroud has responded to Arsenal’s attempts to sign a new striker praising the Frenchman for getting his head down and working on his own game.
Having failed to land Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Demba Ba this summer, the ex-Montpellier man has impressed since the start of the season banging in five goals in seven games to add to his tally of 17 last term.
Written off in some quarters, despite his promising start to life in North London, the boss told press ahead of Sunday’s game with Stoke City that the 26-year-old has an underlying confidence in his own ability which has helped him cope with the pressure of being the Gunners de facto hit man.
“He has a kind of belief, [a] positive mentality that comes out. He has a good self-esteem and that is a very important quality because when you’re a striker you have to deal with a lot of pressure.
“It doesn’t affect him too much when he doesn’t always score. Overall I think he has a very strong mentality.
“Every day when you opened a newspaper he saw another striker coming here but he didn’t say anything.
“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 your job.”
Reflecting on the improvement in Giroud’s all-round game, Wenger highlighted:
“I believe he has improved technically in his link play and that will come out throughout the season.
“He has a huge physical presence that is very difficult to find these days. This season is a big test for Olivier but I’m sure he will have a great season.”
Talking of pressure, the boss also touched on the challenges facing Mesut Ozil as the German international readies himself for his home debut. Despite signing on at Arsenal for a club record fee of £42.5 million the boss stressed that once up to full fitness his new charge won’t have any problem adapting.
“He is 24, he has over 50 caps for Germany, and when you play for Germany, you are under a lot of pressure. He won the championship with Real Madrid, and that is a club where there is a lot of pressure.
“He has integrated well, and been well accepted. I think he is not at the top physically yet.
“Overall we are very pleased to have him with us, but he will demand a bit of time to adjust to the vigorous body challenges he will face here in the Premier League. Once he has done that, he will be even stronger.”