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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Oct 24, 2013

Olivier Giroud relishing lead role

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes naivety cost his side dear as they lost 2-1 at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Olivier Giroud feels he is coping with the physical demands of leading the Arsenal attack this season.

Arsenal have relied heavily on Olivier Giroud this season.
Arsenal have relied heavily on Olivier Giroud this season.

Cross: Giroud form a boost

Giroud has been in fine form in the current campaign as Arsenal top the Premier League, but he has had little rest, with Nicklas Bendtner the only other striker currently available to Arsene Wenger given injuries to Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo.

As a result, the 27-year-old, who now appears to be ahead of Karim Benzema in the pecking order for France, has made 18 appearances for club and country already this season.

He has started each of Arsenal’s eight Premier League games and five Champions League ties, rested only for the Capital One Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion, but he is confident he can cope with the workload.

“I feel good,” the former Montpellier striker told Arsenal.com. “I'm used to playing a lot of games and I feel good with my body, so touch wood no injuries. Over the years I've got used to playing a lot of games and I'm okay with my body.”

Arsenal face Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on Oct. 29, and Bendtner is expected to start that match, with Giroud adding in The Guardian: “Maybe I will have some rest next week.”

Giroud, who was speaking after the 2-1 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund, stressed that he did not “want to look for excuses as to why we lost”, with the Gunners now focused on extending their two-point advantage at the top of the Premier League when they travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“We lost but we have won almost every other game,” he said. “There was just the defeat to Aston Villa and the draw at West Brom in the league. It's not the time to really be worried but we want to come back on Saturday and win at Crystal Palace.”

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