Arsenal star admits he has made ‘big changes’ this season

Frenchman admits he’s has to adapt since arriving for £9.5m last summer. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud says he has had […]

Frenchman admits he’s has to adapt since arriving for £9.5m last summer.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud says he has had to make ‘big changes’ since arriving from Montpellier last summer.

The 26-year-old France international was initially criticised for his form but finished the season with 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, and the Gunners struggled for a focal point when he was out of the first XI.

Montpellier were crowned Ligue 1 champions the season before Giroud arrived but the forward says the biggest change at Arsenal was the quality of playing around him.

“The biggest change really is the players around you,” Giroud is quoted as saying by the Sport Review.

“There are world-class players here. Even at training, there is more pace too so you need to be more focused, more aware, more committed and all of that makes you improve so much.

“I had to adapt mostly to the challenges in matches. Here, it is a key part of the game. You need to use your body and be clever on how to jump for a header for example. I have improved massively on that.

“It is interesting because after a few weeks, the fitness coaches knew me better and told me that I had to work on my strengths, try to be more dynamic and work on how I hold the ball.

“So I’ve been doing a lot of exercises to develop my shoulders and my arms to protect the ball well. I understood that I had to play more with my body here than in France. It has paid off.

“I also had to adapt to Arsenal. I had to discover my team-mates, understand how they like to play.

“It was a new type of football where I had to do everything better compared to before. Physically, I was ready but it is a big change compared to France, which is more tactical.”

Giroud may face increased competition for his place next season, with Arsenal said to be interested in signing a top class striker this summer.

The north London outfit reportedly have a hefty transfer kitty and have been linked with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain among others.

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