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Serie A

Giroud: We must tighten up defence

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud fears his side's defensive frailty is in danger of derailing their hopes this season.

• Wenger: We can still win league
• Blog: Fans put through mill

Giroud seems to be finding his feet after a tricky start to life in the Premier League following his summer move from Montpellier, but his improvement has coincided with a slump at the other end of the field, with Arsene Wenger's men conceding 14 times in their last four matches.

Now Giroud has implored his team-mates to unite in a bid to become a more formidable team unit, telling the Arsenal website that defensive woes are not merely down to accident-prone defenders and goalkeepers.

"This is not only about the defenders - it is the whole team," said Giroud, whose two goals on Saturday against Fulham were undermined by another shaky defensive display in the 3-3 draw with Fulham. "We have conceded a lot of goals. If we always concede two or three goals it will be difficult to win, so we have to improve."

Wenger hailed Giroud's performance as the most encouraging aspect of another disappointing team display against Fulham and it seems as if the striker signed to fill a chunk of the void left by the departed Robin van Persie is starting to revel in his lead striking role.

"I am finding my place in this team. I feel better and better," Giroud added. "I try to give my all for the team, I work hard in training and I feel good, but I can't be very happy because we only drew."

Meanwhile, Wenger has joined the chorus suggesting his defence needs to improve ahead of Saturday's North London derby against Tottenham.

"You have to defend with more drive, more belief and that's where we were guilty I feel," he stated. "The trouble is we need some time to work with the players and, this week, everyone goes off for internationals and there is nothing we can do."


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