Olivier Giroud: 'Arsene Wenger's decision to bench me made me react'

Olivier Giroud has claimed that Arsene Wenger's decision to relegate him to the substitutes' bench sparked a 'reaction'.

The France forward managed to score just one goal in his first five games of the season for the Gunners.

The 29-year-old did not start a Premier League game between September and late October, with Theo Walcott being preferred, but the Frenchman has since found his shooting boots, scoring seven times for the team.

"[Wenger] chose to put me on the bench when I came back from Bordeaux," Giroud told Le Parisien. "Maybe he thought I needed to be less under pressure.

"We spoke about it. He told me he trusted me, like he did Theo Walcott, but that we were two different players. It was also a tactical choice.

"I understood the coach's tactical choice, but after four games, I needed to turn things around. I told myself 'I can't let this last'. It wasn't good for me, for the national team or for the Euros. I didn't want to spend the whole season on the bench. It made me react."

Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier in 2012.


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