Olivier Giroud Is 'Angry in a Positive Way' over Bench Role, Says Arsene Wenger

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2016

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 19, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed striker Olivier Giroud is channeling his frustration "in a positive way" after the Frenchman netted an equaliser against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

With the Gunners deciding to utilise Alexis Sanchez at the point of the attack for much of the campaign, Giroud has had to make do with a role on the bench. While the Arsenal boss admitted the striker is "angry" as a result, he added that the 30-year-old is conducting himself in the correct manner.

"He's angry in a positive way," Wenger said after the 1-1 draw, per Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror. "I think we have the quality and the spirit on the bench...the two together makes us remarkably dangerous until the last minute."

Giroud's late cameo saw Arsenal get out of jail against United, as they turned in a passive performance for the entirety of the contest prior to the striker's last-minute equaliser.

Per Squawka Football, he's proved to be effective when used off the bench:

Since moving to the Emirates Stadium from Montpellier, Giroud has been a frequent goalscorer for the Gunners. Indeed, he adds a robust and physical threat to complement a team packed full of intricate, technical players.

Giroud leaps to put Arsenal level.
Giroud leaps to put Arsenal level.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

However, questions have been raised regularly as to whether Arsenal can win the Premier League with the France international leading the line. The dynamism and energy of Sanchez at the forefront of their attack has added a different edge to the Gunners' forward play in 2016-17.

Having Giroud in reserve represents a tremendous option for Wenger, though.

When chances have fallen his way lately, the striker has been lethal:

However, he's yet to start a Premier League game this season for Arsenal, playing just 109 minutes in the competition in total.

As reported by Spencer Morgan of MailOnline, with his goal at Old Trafford on Saturday, Giroud is the leading scorer in Premier League history for Arsenal as a substitute.

Here's a look at how he compares overall in those stakes:

Premier League: Most Substitute Goals
PositionPlayerGoals from Bench
1.Jermain Defoe23
T2.Nwankwo Kanu17
T2.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer17
4.Javier Hernandez14
T5.Robbie Keane13
T5.Darren Bent13
T5.Tore Andre Flo13
T5.Edin Dzeko13
T5.Daniel Sturridge13
T5.Michael Owen13
T5.Victor Anichebe13
T5.Andrew Cole13
T16.Olivier Giroud10

While his aerial presence and eye for goal makes him an awesome supersub, it'll be fascinating to see for how long Giroud remains in a "positive" mindset on the bench.

After all, while he may not be in the world-class bracket of centre-forward, he's proved he can score goals in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Giroud will also be desperate to play as frequently as possible in what may be his peak years as a centre-forward.

At the moment, Wenger will be delighted with how Giroud is reacting to this demotion, and after the poor showing Arsenal turned in against United, the striker will feel he's made a pretty strong case to start next time out.

Regardless of whether he's a title-winning frontman, the 30-year-old adds a variety to the Gunners' play that's crucial for any potential champions.  


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