Wenger: Arsenal have adapted to Giroud's aerial strength

The Gunners manager claims that his side have started to use the ball differently as a way to take advantage of the former Montpellier striker's ability in the air
Arsene Wenger argues that his Arsenal side have adapted their style to suit summer signing Olivier Giroud.

After a slow start, the French striker has impressed with goals and assists against Fulham, Tottenham and former club Montpellier, which the Gunners boss believes vindicates his decision to incorporate more aerial play.

Wenger told reporters of Giroud: "He is typically English. I believe he has the characteristics of a centre forward I like in England.

“We have adapted to his strengths. When you cross the ball, you still think you have a chance to win the header whereas before it was a counterattack chance!

"He is one of the best headers, yes. Thierry Henry was not a specialist in the air, Dennis Bergkamp not, Kanu not, Nicolas Anelka not. Ian Wright was not a specialist in the air. Nicklas Bendtner was good in the air but didn't play enough games.

6/1 Olivier Giroud is 6/1 with PaddyPower to score two or more goals in Aston Villa v Arsenal

"I believe he still has some work to do," the Arsenal boss warned, "but he has complete commitment, capability to win balls in the air and a fighting attitude.

"He convinces you about something more than just his game. His overall attitude, he is a fighter, he is ready to have a go and he is genuine.

"You don't cheat people on that, people smell that in the stands. That's why I feel he is accepted, not just because of his game but he is really genuinely committed on the pitch.

On Giroud's initial struggles to find his feet, Wenger admitted: "It took time to settle. You tell them scoring the first goal is not important but they know it's important to score so you don't try to make them feel guilty but they still do. You can't change that.

"According to our studies, it comes in cycles. When some guys don't score for three, four or maybe five games they become nervous. If it's more than five they will be questioned and they know that as well.

"People say: 'Okay, he works hard, but when does he score a goal?' When they start to score it becomes completely natural for them."