Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Marseille v Arsenal: teenager on stand-by for Champions League clash as Oliver ... -

Giroud was even more direct.

"We're a really united squad and everyone works for the team," he said. "That's good, we have a quality squad but I'm a bit scared about the numbers we have in the squad.

"We will face problems because of the numbers in our squad but we'll do everything we can to rival the big clubs."

Giroud's revelation that he has had minor pain in the medial collateral ligament of his knee since the summer also sheds new light on Arsenal's summer transfer strategy.

They ultimately failed with bids for Luis Suárez, Gonzalo Higuaín and Demba Ba, leaving Wenger heavily dependent on Giroud maintaining his excellent early-season form.

Giroud had to be substituted during added time of Arsenal's 3-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday after aggravating his knee but he remains confident that the injury will not stop him from playing.

With four goals in four league games, he even talked up the possibility yesterday of finishing the season as the Premier League's 'golden boot'.

"I'm really happy with our start to the season and mine in particular," Giroud said. "Mesut Ozil has already shown what he can bring us; a great vision of the game and very little wastefulness in his passing. He could have finished up with three or four assists against Sunderland if Theo [Walcott] had been more clinical. I think us forwards will score more and more goals with Mesut around.

"A lot of people are talking about finishing top scorer. I'm loving it in this team and feeling good. So why not? I'm feeling better and better with regards to last season but I still think I have room for improvement and can do better."

Giroud also predicted that Wenger would extend his contract beyond the end of this season. Wenger's immediate priority is ensuring that Arsenal progress through what he regards as the toughest of all the Champions League groups. It would be Arsenal's 13th straight year in the last 16.

"Away from home we have always been audacious," Wenger said. "Through some spells at the Emirates we played with the handbrake because we did not have the same confidence."

Arsenal's current sequence of nine straight away wins began with the unlikely 2-0 Champions League victory against Bayern Munich in March. Per Mertesacker's explanation was simple. "It's an exceptional team and we built up our confidence," he said.

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