Oliver Giroud happy to handle Arsenal pressure

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Olivier Giroud says he is feeling as confident as ever and is happy to handle the pressure of being Arsenal's main man for the rest of the season.

The Frenchman has been in fine form for the Gunners this season, scoring eight goals in all competitions and assisting four.

He has, however, started 15 games already this - only Wojciech Szczesny has started more - and is set to start another against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Such reliance on the striker is down to a lack of alternative options but Giroud says he is happy to take the load of being Arsenal's lone striker and is confident of staying fit.

He told reporters: “I’m OK with my body – physically I feel really well. The big difference with last season is the confidence, and maybe I’ve improved myself in a technical way.

“The boss told me that, because we work a lot on it at the training ground. For me, it’s all about focus and confidence.

“I had a really good pre-season with the team. I did not have the same last year.

“I have felt so good since the beginning. I have scored a lot of goals and it was really good for my confidence. I touch some wood, like we say, and, hopefully, I will not get injured.

“But if you look at my stats, I used to play a lot of games every season with not a lot of injuries so, hopefully, it will be the same this year as well.”

His success at Arsenal shows terrific character to come back, after he was written off five years ago.

Mehmed Baždarević - the manager of Grenoble from 2007 to 2010 - placed Giroud in the transfer list, reportedly declaring that he “did not have the level to play among the elite”.

Giroud says he has learned a lot since the early days of his career and says he has succeeded in spite of those who doubted him.

“It was a long time ago," he continued. "I was young, just 19, and I was not mature enough, but I grew up step by step.

“First, in the French second division, I proved I could score a lot of goals and do well. And after I improved myself, I had a lot of thrust and confidence to continue and keep it up.

“I succeeded in doing it at that level and won the championship.Everything I did on the pitch is my answer for people who wanted to blame me.

“Maybe, I tried to do my job on the pitch and score goals and never mind other people. But I believe in my qualities and my game, so I don’t care about it.

“There is no doubt that it was a good inspiration for me, though.”

Giroud is set to start for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal as they face a crucial Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund tonight (Wednesday).

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