Wenger hails old-fashioned Arsenal striker Giroud

Arsene Wenger believes Olivier Giroud is the kind of player who would have prospered in the old days of English football after the striker scored twice to help Arsenal past Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The goals were Giroud’s 12th and 13th of his debut season with the Gunners – to go with his nine assists – following his summer move from Ligue 1 champions Montpellier. The France international also has nine assists to his name, with Wenger claiming Giroud is more like an English player than a French one.

Wenger compared Giroud to a former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith, who helped the club win the league title in both 1989 and 1991, the newspaper adds, with Wenger also admitting he is not the sort of player he usually signs but that he appreciates the alternative offered by the burly target man.

[Giroud] could have played 20 years ago in England, 10 years ago and today, because he has everything you need to play centre-forward. Physical presence. Usually we go more for mobile players who are just on the move, but he gives us something different, and I believe with him and Theo Walcott we have a good partnership,” Wenger said.

Without [Giroud] up front it would have been difficult. It is coincidence that Giroud and Walcott were not at Bradford. We had a lot of the ball but we did not score. When he gets in the fighting mode he is difficult to handle. He is tall, strong, he is quicker than people think he is,” he added.

Walcott was the scorer of Arsenal’s other goal, cancelling out efforts from Brighton players Ashley Barnes and Leonardo Ulloa, with Arsenal next playing Blackburn Rovers at home.

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