Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants him to add variety to his play in the final third and be far less predictable, a request which has been met by an overwhelmingly positive response from the French international.
Giroud made his huge strides in his second season at the Emirates and managed to score 22 goals in all competitions to help Arsenal end a nine-year trophy drought with FA Cup success, although the 27-year-old still came in for stinging criticism across the board for his performances in big matches.
After scoring in his first World Cup start against Switzerland on Saturday the physical forward shared with L'Equipe that him and Wenger regularly dissect his displays and have identified areas of improvement, which include being more clinical under pressure and being more sly with approaches to the penalty box.
STRIVING FOR PERFECTION
Giroud explained: "The coach often corrects me after matches. We go over things I did, chances.
"He tells me that I still have to improve in the way I shoot sometimes, also the way I move, in pulling away defenders for others, in my runs. In his eyes, I'm not sly enough.
"One day, he told me my runs were too honest, too predictable, even if I feel that that is coming on. And I need to be more of 'a confuser.'
REGRETS, HE'S HAD A FEW
The towering talisman also allowed himself to reflect on a pair of particularly painful missed chances from last season, which both came at massive moments against the same team in different matches.
Chelsea were the opponents each time and in successive Premier League clashes Giroud failed to find the target from close range, first with the game deadlocked at 0-0 at the Emirates in December.
Later on in the campaign Arsenal's title charge hung on by a thread when the visited Stamford Bridge, but with the goal at his mercy after just five minutes Giroud could only find Petr Cech and Chelsea responded to take full advantage, recording a crushing 6-0 victory.
Giroud should take comfort in a goal glut which started the campaign though, setting the tone for more convincing displays across the majority of the campaign despite a clear lack of support in reserve.
TIME FOR REINFORCEMENTS
Wenger has been linked with a whole host of reinforcements in attack ever since last season wrapped up in some style, including the likes of Mario Balotelli, Mario Mandzukic and Karim Benzema.
Giroud sounds undeterred though and looked in fine fettle for France against Switzerland on Saturday night, leading the line in fearsome form after grabbing the opening goal in a 5-2 victory on 17 minutes.
That header was followed up by a vintage French display which saw Giroud prove a constant menace, with the star showing a surprise turn of pace to break clear and create the third goal for Mathieu Valbuena just before the break.
WENGER WATCHING WITH INTEREST
Giroud's efforts in Salvador last weekend and indeed across the rest of the tournament will be monitored at close quarters by Wenger, who is working for French television as pundit at the World Cup.
Wenger still desperately needs to sign at least one quality central striker this summer if not two, but Giroud is out to prove he deserves to keep his starting spot next season and has the drive and determination to make it happen.
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