Arsene Wenger has stated that striker Olivier Giroud “has everything you need to play centre-forward” following his two goals against Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Gunners were almost humbled by Championship side Brighton but the €12 million striker’s double in the 3-2 win, which took him to 13 goals this season, was enough to see Arsenal through to the next round, where they face Blackburn at home.
Giroud faced a tough battle against the Brighton defence, and Wenger believes that it is his physical qualities that make him perfect for English football.
“He 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,” Wenger told reporters.
“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.
“Without him [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.”
Giroud himself says that one of the main draws to the Premier League was the physicality of the division, and though he admits he has suffered recently, he believes he plays better when facing adversity.
“I chose this championship because there is more intensity, more physically, you have to be ready in the athletic way,” Giroud said.
“I like it but I like to play good football as well. It’s been a very important week. I’ve had a lot of time to play. I had a difficult time a couple of weeks ago when I didn’t play a lot so I had to keep confident, keep going and it’s important for me to score in both matches.
“I play better not when I’m angry but when I’ve got determination. It’s very important in football. When you don’t have the hunger you can’t play very well and succeed. You need it.
“We want to get six points against Liverpool and Stoke to reach Tottenham and fourth place. We are looking forward now, we want to reach fourth and then we will play and see where we get.
“I was not so far from scoring a hat-trick again. But I want to continue to work hard, to succeed and I’d like to score my first hat-trick soon.”