Arsene Wenger hails impact of Olivier Giroud at Arsenal

Striker adds 'another dimension' to the Gunners

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt that Olivier Giroud brings “another dimension” to his side's attacking options. 

The Gunners head to Fulham tomorrow looking to jump back up into third place in the Barclays Premier League, with fellow Champions League contenders Chelsea and Tottenham not in action until Sunday.

But for some more clinical finishing from Giroud, Arsenal could have seen off Everton's resolute challenge in what was a bruising goalless encounter at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Wenger, however, feels the France striker, 26, will only improve as he learns quickly from a first season in the English top flight after a £13million summer move from Montpellier, where his goals had speared them to a first Ligue 1 title.

"Giroud gave a lot until now and for his first season he is doing extremely well because he has a fantastic attitude, he is a positive mind," said Wenger, who reluctantly agreed to sell captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United during the summer which severely depleted Arsenal's frontline.

"He is a little bit less (like) the strikers we used to have until now, but he gives us another dimension with the physical challenges in the air.

"Olivier has good physical potential, has a good basic stamina and he can absorb the games.

"He can absorb the body to body (challenges) because he's a strong guy.

"He wants to do well, but is not the one who hides afterwards. He stands up for what he has done and I feel he deals quite well with that.

"Giroud has scored 17 goals in all competitions, 11 in the championship, for a first season that is quite good.

"I think you will see more from him next season, and there is a lot more to come from him."

Attacking midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was again impressive when introduced from the bench on Tuesday night, having helped turn the game against Norwich around last weekend when used as an impact player.

The 19-year-old has certainly come a long way since being signed as a raw talent in a £15million move from Southampton in the summer of 2011, going on to win a place in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.

Wenger feels Oxlade-Chamberlain has made great strides.

"Alex has made huge improvements. He is a very young boy at that level, but what he is doing already is fantastic and he has a part to play in our run-in," Wenger said.

"He has moved forward a lot this season.

"Since January, he has grown up a lot and you see there is more purpose in his game.

"You see it now when he comes on, he has a different stature and he wants to really take responsibility when he comes on which was not always the case.

"The final ball is much better and his concentration is at a higher level.

"That is what you learn when you go from a young talented boy to a real performing player."

Arsenal will be out to record what would be a ninth win in the last 12 league games at Fulham, who were well beaten 3-0 by Chelsea in midweek.

Wenger expects his team to return the same concentration levels they have over the past six weeks which have seen them re-ignite their European ambitions after what looked a fatal blow when losing at Tottenham on March 3.

"We bounced back from a very, very difficult position but we still have a lot of work to do," said Wenger, who revealed goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was set for a spell on the sidelines with a cracked rib, so fellow Pole Wojciech Szczesny will get the chance to reclaim the number one jersey again.

"We just want to keep that strong run going until the end of the campaign.

"After the Tottenham game, we had no room to drop points and that is where we are.

"We know for us it is what is needed to be successful."

PA

Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Sport
footballLive: Latest news from Champions League draw
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?