I have big respect for Olivier Giroud claims Arsene Wenger

Published 27/12/16 

Arsene Wenger has praised the attitude of Olivier Giroud following his winning goal in today's 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

The Gunners looked on course for a frustrating goalless draw at the Emirates before Giroud marked his first Premier League start of the season with an 86th-minute winner.

The 30-year-old has had to play second fiddle to Alexis Sanchez for much of the season and, while Wenger refused to guarantee him a place in the side going forward, he is pleased with how Giroud has responded to being a back-up striker so far.

"It has been very frustrating for him because he didn't always play and when he played well I didn't always play him in the next game. But I think we have an honest relationship. I have a big respect for him and he knows that. He was not always playing and despite that, he kept a strong motivation level. Our job, when you're a football player, you have to be always ready," he told reporters.

"When you're selected, it's fantastic. When you're not selected, you have to be ready. And the players who are always ready when they get their chance, they are there. And the players who feel sorry for themselves, they get their chance and they give you one more reason to justify why you didn't select them. The fighters are always ready. We are not in an administration here, we are in a competition.

"You do not have 'your place', like a seat that you buy with a season ticket. We are competing and I think if I have only one striker, everybody says 'what are you doing, you have only one striker?' So you need two or three strikers and we have (Danny) Welbeck coming back so most of the time I will have to make the decision considering the opponent we play. Like today, I knew it would be deep and that in the air could be a solution. So I have to make the right decisions."

Despite making 10 of his 11 league appearances this season off the bench, Giroud has now scored four Premier League goals this term.

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