Striker says Arsenal are strong enough to win trophies with just one January signing
PUBLISHED: 22:29 03 January 2016 | UPDATED: 22:29 03 January 2016
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Olivier Giroud maintains that Arsenal’s squad is already strong enough to ensure a successful season without the need for further additions during January.
The Gunners are set to confirm the £5m arrival of Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny in the coming days, to plug the gap left by injuries to the likes of Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta.
But Giroud is confident that the club have sufficient options in every other area to be serious contenders for three pieces of silverware in the second half of the campaign.
That includes the FA Cup, which Arsenal – winners of the trophy for the last two years – will be defending when they host struggling Sunderland in Saturday’s third round tie.
“We have a good squad with the quality and the quantity and we can play well in every single competition, so we will play this game at 100 per cent for sure,” said the Gunners centre-forward.
“On the bench we have very good players as well – young players that are talented and waiting to come in. Soon Alexis [Sanchez] will come back, Mikel maybe and Tomas Rosicky.
“We know that Francis and Santi will come back later and also Danny Welbeck will come back. Show me where [we need someone else].
“Theo [Walcott] can play up front and Joel [Campbell] is doing well with his national team. If I am playing less well or I get injured, we still have a solution.”
Some observers raised questions about Giroud’s suitability to spearhead a challenge for the Premier League crown earlier in the campaign, when he was left out of Arsenal’s starting line-up.
But the France international has answered his critics by scoring a total of 15 goals from 28 appearances to date – even though he did not manage to find the net over the Christmas period.
And Giroud hopes to draw on his experiences of winning a championship in 2012, when his goals helped Montpellier to their first Ligue 1 title, to repeat that achievement with Arsenal.
“To be champions at the end of the season – and I know because I’ve been a champion with Montpellier – you need talent, of course, but you also need a bit of luck,” he said.
“Sometimes you cannot play a fantastic game, even more because the opponent is doing well. We have to wait, to be patient and play our game until the end.”
Giroud’s sentiments were borne out by the Gunners’ performance against Newcastle on Saturday at the Emirates, when they failed to convince and rode their luck for much of the game.
Yet, although the better chances fell to the visitors, the only goal came 18 minutes from time when central defender Laurent Koscielny latched onto Giroud’s header and stabbed past Rob Elliot.
That victory took Arsenal two points clear at the top of the table and Giroud added: “I think we have to say Newcastle played really well. Sometimes, in the middle of the park, we were in trouble.
“We could have scored before with more precision in the last pass, but the thing is we are all committed and conscious that we need everyone to win the game. This time it is a defender who made the difference.
“Defensively we were strong and finally we won the game. It’s a nice three points – it shows as well that we have strength of character, and now we’ll rest.”