Olivier Giroud: My first season at Arsenal has been a ‘big change’

Olivier Giroud says that he has had to make a number of "big changes" since joining Arsenal from Montpellier last summer

olivier giroud
Olivier Giroud arrived at Arsenal from Montpellier last summer Photo: Olivier Giroud/Facebook

Olivier Giroud says that he has had to make a number of “big changes” since joining Arsenal from Montpellier last summer.

The 26-year-old France international scored 17 goals in all competitions and made 10 assists for the Gunners after completing a £9.5m transfer last June.

And the striker has revealed that he has had to adapt his game in order to cope with the physical nature of the English top flight.

“The biggest change really is the players around you,” Giroud told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

“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.”

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