Wenger: I want Giroud here until the summer

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Arsene Wenger says he wants Olivier Giroud to stay until the end of the season and made clear he considers his compatriot an important squad member, not just a super sub.

The France striker consolidated his credentials as a game-changer off the bench by scoring his 17th goal as a substitute to salvage a point for Arsenal at Southampton on Saturday.

In the aftermath of his performance, the player underlined his concern at the lack of game time he’s getting in the Premier League and how he’s worried it might affect his chances of going to next summer’s World Cup.

Asked about Giroud’s comments and what he thinks of the player he signed from Montpellier, Wenger told his pre-West Ham press conference:

“He’s not a sub for me. He’s a regular player. I have plenty of good strikers and you cannot play all of them together.

“I speak to all my players but its very difficult to speak about what we speak about openly. You enough already.

“He’s a very important player and I have a big respect for him. I’m a big admirer of Olivier Giroud, if you look at his career since he came here look at how many French caps he’s had since being at Arsenal Football Club. He has not wasted his time.

“I can understand every frustration of every player. It’s part of the job when you go to a big club.”

Pressed further on the matter of the player’s frustration, he added: “Of course [I understand], but first of all, he played many games, much more than people speak about.

“He’s played more minutes since the start of the season than Lacazette, for example. That’s not always well known. On the other hand, at a big club you have many strikers so you cannot always guarantee that everyone will play.”

On Giroud’s interview with L’Equipe, in which he seemed to suggest he might look for a move in January after being pressured by France coach Didier Deschamps, Wenger hinted at things being lost in translation.

“I read that, but it’s not exactly what he said. That’s always the way you can interpret things. Personally, I want him to stay until the end of the season, then we’ll see.”

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Capn Crunch
Capn Crunch

Forget the summer, I want Giroud here until he retires. Quality player and total professional

SwissArse

… with a great attitude. And he scores goals, more than any. So agree.

Javelin+Accident
Javelin+Accident

Agree. Even in his current role as sub nd midweek games he is vitally important too. Just like Wiltorf and Edu were, and Ole GS for Man U, good 12th and 13th players are key to successful seasons.

Pedant
Pedant

He’s got a few more good years in him. Keep our talent and also our variety, he adds something different.

IamaGoober

Yeah I agree, the key to success in this league is having variety especially offensively.

Giroud works so well when we are looking to change the game, because teams naturally tend to drop deeper to seal things up especially when they’re trying to see the game out, and that’s why he is able to score so many late goals. The natural pendulum swing of momentum in the last 15-20 minutes suits Girouds game perfectly.

I am not too sure about starting him every game, because I think in this league you do require pace up top especially against the decent sides, otherwise you make it too easy for the opposition early on as they know they can squeeze their centre backs up the pitch knowing Giroud will rarely look to stretch them out wide or go in behind with a cultured through ball, or a ball over the top.

Santori
Santori

His game isn’t based on pace.

He’s become more efficient with positioning to make up for what he lacks and you can see he has tried to get more lean to work on his deficiency.

Great attitude and an often under appreciated asset in our squad.

Tribe
Tribe

Who knows what’s going on in the old man’s mind. For every player who’s linked to a move out from the club he says he wants them to stay until the summer. Knowing the old man’s transfer desire seems like next season we will be a funny team to watch. The team as it is lacks at least 3-4 players and if the most mentioned departures happen we will have a serious void. But it is like it is…

Jarghs
Jarghs

I think Wenger has earned enough respect to be referred to by name, rather than ‘old man’, even when being critical.

Tribe
Tribe

Wow! Nevermind the point of the said but do point to the “old man”. It’s just an expression and since when “old man” is a disrespect? Sometimes “old man” comes with wisdom. Have you ever heard of style expression?

caligunner
caligunner

Sure, you really implied respect while using it for AW.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Too right, we’re the best looking team in the league and have to stay that way.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

So, you say we have to get rid of Ozil? 🙂

Andy
Andy

giroud, like a fine wine, get’s better with age. i can see him continuing to improve well into his thirties and would hate to see that happening at another club. arsene persisting with alexis who is obviously off in the summer and leaving giroud on the bench makes no sense. at this stage, we can pretty much write the league off so we should be playing guys who are going to be with us next season and offload sanchez and ozil in january. amazing (well, not really give this is arsenal) that the board did not step in and force their sale in the summer. 100m quid down the toilet that could have been used to rebuild.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Hindsight is 20-20. Realistically Arsenal need to be in the Champions leaguet attract the ‘world class’ talents that would take us to the next level. Selling Ozil and Sanchez last summer would have meant another year of rebuilding with far less probability of CL qualification this season. At least this way; yes there is a financial hit, but it’s offset by the team’s stability and (in theory) improved chances of CL qualification – therefore the draw of the higher quality replacements next summer – Fekir, Draxler etc etc.. That is why they continue to play, despite being guaranteed to head out of the door.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Why would he want to stay playing second fiddle in a team competing for top 4, while his national team manager just before what is probably his last chance to play in the World Cup , wants him to be playing more consistently.
I do not see Giroud staying.

caligunner
caligunner

grass isn’t always greener? Who is to say going to whichever club he’s linked to would make him look as good? It can be worse where he doesn’t get any support and doesn’t score at all but plays more minutes.

Drew Dewsall

This whole thing about players who aren’t playing not going to the World Cup, I’m looking firmly at Jack and Ollie here. It is bollocks, how can them not getting in Arsenal’s starting lineup make them less desirable than players who are at lesser clubs but getting more minutes. We know they are both quality and surely so do their international managers, although I’m not so sure with Southgate. Lacca plays the start of games then is brought off for Ollie, does this mean that Lacca shouldn’t be considered because he gets tugged in every game? It’s just bullshit. We all know that Jack is probably the best midfielder in the country and him not getting starts in the prem shouldn’t mean he has players like Harry Maguire FFS.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Bang on. This whole ‘they should be starting for their clubs’ narrative is complete bollocks. It only goes so far; I can understand for some mid-table players – but the simple fact he is at Arsenal should put him above 95% of all other England candidates. He played in the Premier League when he was 16 for God’s sake!
Southgate is completely deluded – it strikes me as a power play from him to show he has the balls to make decisions.
At the end of the day, his job is to pick the best players at his disposal, not who’s in vogue at their individual clubs.

A Different George
A Different George

I think the concern of the France coaches is that Giroud get enough playing time to be match sharp. They would prefer that that playing time be against good opponents, rather than Europa group stage matches or early round cup games, because that is what “sharpness” at this level actually means. They don’t care if this helps or hurts Arsenal (as is their right). But, as I’ve posted before, Deschamps likes to have one big traditional number 9 and, unless he is willing to take Benzema back, that means Giroud (who has a good understanding with Griezmann) will be in the squad.

Samantha
Samantha

What Arsene said this morning is untrue. So far this season, Giroud has in fact played 1,026 minutes of football for Arsenal, while Lacazette has played 1,176 minutes.

Santori
Santori

Its only the correct thing to do.

He is still one of the more efficient players in front of goal.

Welbeck may have promise but until he delivers we should keep what works.

And we should use him as situation dictates NOT as a plan B.