Giroud: More to come
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has insisted he is only getting started after taking his goal tally for this season into double figures with a two-goal salvo in the 5-1 rout of West Ham on Wednesday night.
Giroud has come under fire from some Arsenal fans after an indifferent start to life in England following his move from Montpellier last summer, but he believes he is starting to find his feet now.
"It is good thing to reach this number of goals, but I want to keep going and score more goals," Giroud told Arsenal's official website. "I know my team-mates very well, so I feel really good in games. I have scored 11 goals and I have nine assists but I know I can do more."
Giroud knows the victory against West Ham was crucial to Arsenal's hopes of clinging onto the coattails of local rivals Tottenham in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League, and he has echoed the views of boss Arsene Wenger that a return to the Champions League for next season is the primary objective for the Gunners in 2013.
"We have to concentrate on the Champions League places," he said. "It is our objective and we really want to get there. Tottenham are on a good run, so we had to win against West Ham.
"I am happy because we started the game as we wanted, with good pace and good movement of the ball. Unfortunately we conceded one goal, but we had a good reaction, never gave up and it was really nice to score before half time.
"We created a lot of opportunities in the second half and if we play like we did against West Ham from the kick-off (in every game), it will be much better for us."
Meanwhile, Wenger has claimed the rout of West Ham provided proof that his transfer dealings in the last few months have been productive, as he hit back at the critics who have questioned his most recent signings.
"It's positive because we see the players like Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, who were questioned at some stage, they are getting better," Wenger stressed. "This means we have done well in the transfer market. That is always questioned."
Wenger hinted in his post-match briefing on Wednesday that he 'had work to do' as he closed in on a marquee signing in the final week of the January transfer window, with reports in Spain continuing to link Barcelona striker David Villa with a move to Arsenal.