Arsene Wenger has admitted that it’s been a frustrating season for Olivier Giroud.
The striker has only played 260 minutes in the Premier League so far this season. Over 11 total appearances, that’s 23.6 minutes on average per game.
Now, the France international has been out through injury, which has meant his appearances have been limited for this reason but also because Alexis Sanchez is having a great time up front. Therefore, Giroud’s playing second fiddle, which isn’t something he’s used to considering Alexis played out wide last term and Oli was our main target man.
Speaking after his 86th minute goal against West Brom on Boxing Day, which secured Arsenal a valuable three points, Wenger spoke about Giroud’s attitude and admitted that this season has been frustrating for him.
“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,” Wenger said.
“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. That’s part of the job. 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.”
Giroud is out of contract in 18 months and although his agent has said he won’t move in January, it’s likely that he could go in the summer if he doesn’t get more time on the pitch. I sincerely hope not but you can’t force a player to stay where they’re not happy. Hopefully, things change.