Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has given an extensive interview to L’Équipe this morning ahead of his side’s huge clash with Barcelona this evening. Part 2- Extracts.
For Part 1, click here.
Whenever one brings up Arsenal or Giroud, people still have reservations. Do you feel like you are suffering from a lack of recognition?
Yes people often remind me of this. But I think that our performances in the last two years speak for us. We are constantly progressing, all we are missing is a major title in order to definitively change the way in which people view us.
How do you put up with that?
I am only thinking about one thing: winning this major title. And I know that Arsenal can do it with me. “It is not only up to me” as they say. Even when some of us are scoring less, as might be the case for me at the moment, others pick up the mantle, like Theo [Walcott] or Danny [Welbeck].
You make reference to what Thierry Henry said…
Ever since I arrived at Arsenal in 2012, it has often been questioned whether or not Arsenal can win with me [in the team]. It is true that I am not a striker who scores 25 league goals every season, like Aguero can and like Van Persie did twice.
I understand that Arsenal need a striker who scores a lot of goals, between 25 & 30, and that is my aim this season.
In the last two seasons you score on average one goal every two games. Do you understand people’s reservations?
I don’t have time for that. I also don’t want to waste energy listening to comments made by this person or that. What is important is that Arsenal win, whether or not I score.
The days that are often remembered are the ones where you didn’t score. For example, during the 1-3 home defeat against Monaco last season. Is that just the life of a striker?
It is a position where you are judged on your efficiency. I accepted that a long time ago. It is true that this particular match was very difficult, even one of the worst in my career, but I knew to bounce back quickly.
During the first half of the season, you spent a period of time as a substitute for Theo Walcott. How did you deal with that situation?
…I was on the bench for about a month and a half. It gave me a chance to come back stronger and to give my season a new impetus. Even if you only come on for ten minutes or for a quarter of an hour, I always thought that at Arsenal you would get one or two chances if you made the right moves. It is during those moments where you see mental strength.
I managed to make decisive contributions in important matches like against Bayern Munich and against Denmark with France. That allowed to me to take my place back.
You are at first judged on your efficiency as a striker, but you are also recognised as an attacker who works for the team. Do you not lose a certain lucidity [going forward] because you partake in defensive actions?
Honestly, I need that so that I can feel heavy in my legs, I even find it rewarding. Here we say “do the shit that people don’t see”. It also shows who you are. Against Leicester, even when we were behind, we all wanted to put a defensive shift in. That tells you something.
Part 3 to follow.