Hull City v Arsenal: 'Olivier Giroud is like Mesut Ozil, he has gone through a difficult period but he is a positive guy,' claims Arsene Wenger
The Gunners visit Hull City in the Premier League on Sunday
Friday 18 April 2014
Arsenal go to Hull City on Sunday hoping to briefly move four points clear of Everton in the race for fourth place. After Everton’s surprising defeat to Crystal Palace on Wednesday Arsenal are now favourites, and there is a renewed feeling of optimism after their own 3-1 victory over West Ham United.
Olivier Giroud scored a brilliant goal that night and Arsene Wenger hopes that will inspire him over the final weeks of the season. “The quality of the goal gives him confidence again, gives him credibility again for people who questioned his ability,” Wenger said, “so that is important.”
Giroud suffered a dip in form recently, playing 12 games in February and March but scoring just five goals. Wenger said that was down to tiredness as well as the well-publicised issues in his private life.
“He has gone, like Ozil, through a more difficult period recently,” Wenger said. “It was a bit physical and mental as well with what happened to him. He is a strong lad, strong mentality, strong positive guy. He has a great mentality that’s what I think got him back. He has scored 20 goals that is a great record and he is working very hard for the team.”
Wenger admitted that Giroud “played maybe too many games” earlier in the season. “Maybe we should have rested him a bit earlier and given him a breather.” Yaya Sanogo has started to share the burden recently but Giroud should be fully-fit for the run-in.
Arsenal were criticised for not signing a striker to compete with Giroud but Wenger said there is a difficult balance to be struck, and he would not want to undermine Giroud. “It’s difficult for a striker because you need confidence,” Wenger explained. “You need to be challenged but not too much because if you know the first mistake you make you are out then you are not good. If you know you do not score for one game then another player comes in, you are not confident enough. It’s difficult to find the right balance. If you look across Europe all the big teams they play basically with the same striker.”
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Louis van Gaal gives increasingly intense interview as irritation with BBC grows following Manchester United defeat to Chelsea
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate