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Sunday 23 October 2016

Giroud: I can lead Arsenal attack

Published 15/08/2015 | 13:13

Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud believes he can have a major impact this season
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud believes he can have a major impact this season

Striker Olivier Giroud remains confident he can prove himself the right man to lead Arsenal's attack this season.

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The France international has again seen his position come under scrutiny as the Gunners have been linked with a big-money move for Karim Benzema from Real Madrid.

However, 6ft 3ins frontman Giroud - who netted 19 goals last season despite being out for three months with a broken leg - has no doubts he has what it takes to spearhead Arsenal's Barclays Premier League challenge.

"I showed great mental strength last year and I had good stats," said Giroud, whose injury-time strike settled a 4-0 FA Cup final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

"I always try to improve myself and I feel with the team, so yes, I am sure I can bring something more to the team and to my team-mates."

Like summer signing Petr Cech and the rest of the Arsenal squad, Giroud endured an opening day to forget as the Gunners were beaten 2-0 at home by West Ham.

The 28-year-old accepts things must improve if they are to get a positive result at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

"In pre-season, we all worked well together. We won the Community Shield so there is a lot of expectation for this first game," he said.

"Unfortunately we have made mistakes we will learn from them and try not to do it again.

"We can succeed to play our game, we want to bounce back on Sunday."

Giroud believes Arsene Wenger's current squad do have what it takes to mount a serious title challenge.

He added: "When you want to win the league it is always a mix of skill and mental quality, technique and tactical.

"You cannot win the league without mental strength, so obviously we need that and I think we have got it in our squad, the team is fantastic, like our understanding between us together. I think we can do well with that."

Palace started the new season where they had left off in May, battling to a 3-1 win at newly-promoted Norwich.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes this season will show the depth of quality within the English top flight.

He said: "It will certainly be a tighter and tougher league because the quality of teams in the lower half of the table has improved.

"What gives you a good indication is if you look at the bench of the team you play against. Now, when you look at the teams in the second part of the table and you look at their bench, it indicates that you will have tough games."

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