Having revealed he’s been playing with a niggly knee injury since pre-season Olivier Giroud has emphasised the concerns held by many Arsenal fans that Arsene Wenger’s squad is painfully thin in certain areas.
While the French international passed a fitness test on Tuesday and will play against Marseille in tonight’s opening Champions League group stage game, he spoke ahead of the game with the wary tone of a man well aware that much rests on his shoulders in the absence of Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner.
“We’re a really united squad and everyone works for the team. That’s good, we have a quality squad but I’m a bit scared about the numbers we have in the squad.
“We will face problems because of the numbers in our squad but we’ll do everything we can to rival the big clubs.”
Aside from the shock opening day defeat to Aston Villa, the Gunners haven’t lost in any competitive fixtures for 199 days – a run which has seemingly spurred Giroud to find top form.
Having scored five goals in six games already, the 26-year-old exuded positivity about his current prowess in and around the penalty box.
“I’m really happy with our start to the season and mine in particular. I had a full pre-season, which wasn’t the case last season when I had more pressure as well.
“I’m in form and I haven’t missed any training sessions, so touch wood that it continues. I eased into the season with some goals in pre-season and it has carried on. It goes hand in hand with the team’s form at the moment.
“This is what we have been missing in recent seasons. We would often be lagging behind at the start.
“But the fact we lost the first game at the Emirates (to Aston Villa) shook us up a bit and we reacted well, we’ve scored a lot of goals. Of course, I would like to score more than last season, more than 17 goals in all competitions.
“Normally my second seasons are better and more prolific in terms of goals. I’m loving it in this team and feeling good. So why not?
“I’m feeling better and better, but I still think I have room for improvement and can do better.”
Fingers crossed the HFB can carry that confidence into tonight’s game…8,401 views