Wenger: I always knew Giroud would come good

The French striker bounced back from his miserable display against Monaco in midweek by scoring against Everton on Sunday and was praised by his manager afterwards

Arsene Wenger insists that he never had any doubts about starting Olivier Giroud in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday because he always knew that the striker would come good.

The Frenchman endured a torrid evening on Wednesday as Arsenal fell to a humbling 3-1 loss to Monaco at the Emirates Stadium and he was substituted on the hour mark.

However, Giroud retained his place in the starting XI for the visit of Roberto Martinez’s men and subsequently opened the scoring, firing a clever volley past Tim Howard after a fine Mesut Ozil cross before Tomas Rosicky wrapped up all three points late on.

And Wenger was effusive in his praise of the striker following the game, praising both his finishing ability and his overall contribution to the cause.

“Olivier has one great quality; when his back is to the wall he has the personality to respond,” he told his post-match press conference. “Because I know him better now, that’s why I kept him in the team.

“I’m not happy only because he scored the goal but because of his work-rate. He’s an important player in the box and with his presence up front and defensively.”

Wenger also explained why Giroud was substituted during the Champions League encounter in midweek, revealing that he always intended to field the striker against Everton.

“For me the worry was to last 90 minutes so he played only an hour the other night,” the manager added. “All these ingredients were very important to my decision. I felt his performance could be important against Everton.”

Wenger confirmed that Francis Coquelin sustained a broken nose during the 2-0 win, noting that the French midfielder may require surgery.

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