Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has featured only sparingly so far this season and the Frenchman has revealed he is growing increasingly frustrated by his time on the bench.
Since returning from an extended summer break due to the European Championships, the 30-year-old has been, more often than not, losing out in the hunt for starting spots on Arsène Wenger’s team sheet.
The veteran manager has been spoiled for choice this term as Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil have all been in fine goal scoring form. Such has been the prowess of the Walcott and Sanchez that Giroud has been forced to warm a spot on the bench for many of Arsenal’s crucial ties of late.
Having scored a brace against Sunderland earlier this month, Giroud was left frustrated by not being selected to start the north London derby with Tottenham. His apparent inability to impress Wenger sufficiently to garner selection has now started to frustrate the striker.
Speaking while on international duty for France and reported via the Express, Giroud concedes,
“I won’t lie, there have been times I’ve been disappointed and not happy with my situation. But the coach knows that. He’s the one who makes the choices.
“I’m not the kind of player to give up and to demand things. Even if I don’t play all the matches, I’m sure the coach will use me. We’ll take stock at the end of the season.
“I thought I would start because the coach had put me on the bench against Southampton, three days before. But no.
“It is in that moment, on the morning of the match in Paris, that I had a discussion with him. He said that I was close to returning. Frankly, I was hurt, disappointed.
“The manager has said that he admires my strength of character. I know that he supports me but this (lack of playing time) cannot go on for too long and cannot happen too often. It is beginning to wear off… “
While frustrated, Giroud did reiterate his desire to fight for his place at Arsenal, however, it must be said that if he is not careful, his feelings of frustration might well impact his on-field performances when he does play, thus further compounding his current selection woes.
The international break might be just the tonic Giroud needs. Should he perform well for France, he may force Wenger to reconsider him for a starting role once again. However, failure to excel and it could spell the beginning of the end for his Arsenal career.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena