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Talk is cheap for Arsenal flops


Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil consistency can help Arsenal win title - Henry

Thierry Henry seems to have changed his mind on Olivier Giroud. The former Arsenal great now says his fellow Frenchman is good enough to lead Arsenal to the Premier League title -- with a bit of help from Mesut Ozil.

Henry made headlines last April when he said Arsenal could not win the league with Giroud as their main striker and that the team needed an upgrade up front. But with Giroud having scored 12 league goals this season -- many of them set up by Ozil -- and Arsenal having a chance to reclaim top spot with a win at Stoke on Sunday, Henry has changed his tune.

"Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil are finally showing the consistency to match their unquestionable ability," Henry wrote in his column in the The Sun.

"Now they can lead Arsenal to the title because the team has learned how to win the big games even when they don't dominate possession."

The partnership between Ozil, left, and Giroud has Arsenal right in the thick of a title challenge.

Arsenal have beaten both Manchester City and Manchester United in the league this season and overcame Bayern Munich 2-0 at home in the Champions League. Giroud also scored twice at Liverpool on Wednesday but saw Arsenal concede a 90th-minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw.

Henry said Arsenal have also learned how to play to Giroud's strengths as a target man, and are no longer afraid to send direct long balls up toward the striker.

"I would have struggled to play in this way because I wasn't the greatest in the air and wouldn't have won enough headers. But that is what Olivier brings to the team," Henry said. "It caused a real stir last year when I said that Arsenal couldn't win the title with Giroud as their only striker.

"There have never been any doubts about Giroud's ability. We all know he can score goals and is a great finisher and that he loves to share and help his teammates. But when you play for Arsenal you have to turn up and perform in every match. And Giroud is finally showing the consistency that was missing in previous seasons.

"It is the same story with Ozil, who is now showing he can deliver in the games against the big teams. For a team to win the title they need a striker who is capable of scoring 30 goals a season and a No. 10 who is creating like crazy. Arsenal now have both of those players to rely on in the title run-in."

Henry says he is more concerned about the team's defence after conceding seven goals in their last two away games. But he added that "if Giroud and Ozil keep performing at their current level, there is no reason why they can't stay top right to the end of the season."


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