Walcott: Giroud a dream to play with

The England international has hailed his Arsenal team-mate's form and admitted he is delighted to be playing alongside the Frenchman

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott praised team-mate Olivier Giroud after Sunday's 2-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa.

The Frenchman scored at Villa Park to cap a fine week that also saw him net a hat-trick against Olympiacos to fire Arsenal through to the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Giroud has now scored 14 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions this campaign, and Walcott is thoroughly enjoying teaming up with the 29-year-old.

"It's not just his goals, it's his general play and everything about him," Walcott told the official Arsenal website.

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"The way he holds the ball up, he blocks it and defends it, and he works hard for the team from defensive corners and everything. 

"He's in great form at the moment. He's a dream to play with and he makes our job a lot easier. As soon as I won the penalty, I just knew that he would score. 

"Confidence is streaming through him and you want that in the busy Christmas period. You want players that are on form and he's definitely one of them."

Giroud will be looking to add to his tally on December 21 when leaders Arsenal host second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League.