Giroud: Lack of maturity cost Arsenal in title race

The Gunners spent 128 days at the top of the Premier League – more than any of their rivals – but fell away in the final months of the season, eventually finishing fourth

Arsenal cracked in the Premier League title race as a result of a lack of maturity, according to striker Olivier Giroud.

Arsene Wenger’s men ended their nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup but it was another underwhelming Premier League campaign for the London club.

Arsenal spent 128 days at the top of the table before defeats against Liverpool (5-1), Stoke City (1-0), Chelsea (6-0) and Everton (3-0) between February and April saw them slide down the table.

The Gunners, who have not won the league since 2003-04, eventually finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League for a 17th consecutive season as Manchester City claimed the title.

But Giroud, Arsenal’s leading scorer with 16 goals, believes the club could have lifted the trophy had they shown more maturity during a difficult period that saw several key players struck down by injury, including Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.

“We were on top for a good half of the season and then we cracked,” said the 27-year-old in an interview with French newspaper Midi-Libre.

“I believe we lacked maturity and that we had a lot of injuries at an important time.

“Above all we weren’t able to adapt to the big teams. We have to show progress in these matches, to maybe play less football, but it’s difficult because it’s our playing philosophy.”

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