Football

Oliver Giroud.

Arsene Wenger explains exactly why Oliver Giroud isn't starting at Arsenal

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Despite playing a leading role for the club last season and leading the line for France during this summer's Euro 2016, Oliver Giroud has struggled for minutes at Arsenal so far this season.

In fact, the Frenchman has not been selected in Arsene Wenger's starting XI for any game this season and has had to make do with two substitute appearances in the Premier League and a 30 minute run out in the Champions League this week.

Considering he led the Gunners' scoring chart last season with 16 league goals, Giroud probably isn't exactly thrilled with his reduced role thus far - especially as it coincides with the arrival of new striker Lucas Perez.

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However, speaking during his Friday press conference, Wenger has now outlined exactly why the French international is yet to start a game this campaign - and it doesn't reflect too well on the 29-year-old.

"He was a bit behind at the start." the veteran manager told the gathered media on Friday afternoon, via Arsenal.com. "Fitness-wise he has been behind Koscielny and Ozil.

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"At the start it took him some time to get back. Since the last week, he’s slowly getting back to full fitness now."

Before the season began, Wenger did admit he would give those players involved in the latter stages at Euro 2016 extra time to recover.

However, while Giroud has been left waiting for the nod to start, the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny have all appeared from kick off in Premier League fixtures so far this year.

TOPSHOT-FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH50-GER-FRA

The fact that Giroud is lagging behind his teammates in getting back to full fitness is a worrying admission from Wenger, and one that won't help his reputation amongst some sections of the Arsenal support.

Koscielny played just as many games as Giroud over the summer but was ready to slot back into the starting XI in the Gunners' second game of the season.

We're now in the middle of September, so for Wenger still to be waiting on Giroud will set a few alarm bells ringing.

Moving forward

The striker himself may be a little concerned with his immediate future at the Emirates after the club's late dealings in the recent transfer window.

Seeing Perez arrive from Deportivo will hopefully spur the Frenchman on to regain his top form. However, if the Spaniard is able to find his own goal-scoring form this weekend against Hull, Giroud could see his spell on the Arsenal bench extended indefinitely.

Arsenal Training Session

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Olivier Giroud
Alexis Sanchez
Football
Premier League
Mesut Özil
Petr Cech
Arsenal

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