Olivier Giroud feels he’s settling into life at Arsenal quickly, and perhaps even better than former Gunner Robin Van Persie, ESPN
Giroud, 26, joined from Montpellier in the summer and has made a solid start to his Arsenal career, with 14 goals from 34 appearances so far, leading to inevitable comparisons to Van Persie, who left for Manchester United. And whilst Giroud is aware of the comparisons, he’s confident he has what it takes to fill the Dutchman’s boots. “I don’t know a striker who isn’t interested in his statistics. Since the start of the season, I’ve got 14 goals and 11 assists. For a first season, it’s better than Van Persie when he started, even though he was younger.”
Giroud did need a settling in period to start off with, with fellow new signings Lukas Padolski and Santi Cazorla earning most of the early seasons plaudits. However, Giroud, whilst acknowledging that settling-in period was necessary, now feels he fits into the Arsenal lineup more effectively now.
“When I arrived at Arsenal, there were some worries. But they were quickly sorted and now the Arsenal players understand if they play off me they can score.”
Giroud, who also has 13 international caps with France to his name, also says that Arsenal are starting to string together results that could lead them to a Champions League berth come the end of the season. The Gunners are currently 6th, 4 points off Tottenham in 4th spot, and points to their 7-3 hammering of Newcastle in late December as a potential turning point in their season. Speaking of Arsenal’s early season problems, Giroud said, “It wasn’t easy. Then we played Newcastle and won 7-3. I just missed a hat-trick. Things are better now.”
The Gunners are amongst a number of clubs all aiming to secure a top 4 finish, including Spurs, Everton and Liverpool, and have 13 games to make up the 4 point gap to 4th spot, starting with a trip to the Stadium of Light to meet Sunderland on Saturday.
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