Olivier Giroud disappointed after being dropped for Theo Walcott

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Olivier Giroud has admitted he was disappointed to be dropped to the bench for Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley last Sunday.

Arsene Wenger handed Theo Walcott an opportunity to shine through the middle following an impressive pre-season, with Giroud named amongst the substitutes.

Walcott provided the assist for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and posed a threat to Chelsea with his pace, but Giroud gave Wenger some food for thought after making an impact during the 25 second-half minutes he was on the pitch.


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“Yes, I was a little disappointed, but Theo had scored against Wolfsburg”, Giroud was quoted as saying by RMC Sport. “As long as the team is doing well and winning and I am giving my 100%, it doesn’t matter whether I start or I am used as a substitute.

“On a personal level there is no problem. I am happy with where I am at the moment and I am ready to [compete] with Theo.”

Giroud could start upfront v West Ham

Despite Walcott’s relatively impressive display against the Blues, Giroud could be given the nod to start upfront in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against West Ham this weekend.

The France international has more experience playing in that position compared to his younger teammate, while his superior physical attributes can also be of real benefit to the Gunners.

Giroud boasts a decent goalscoring record for Arsenal since arriving from Montpellier in 2012 - 58 in 134 appearances - but some believe the Gunners need a better centre-forward in order to improve their chances of winning the Premier League title for the first time since 2004.

Karim Benzema is the top-class striker Arsenal have been strongly linked with all summer, but Wenger confirmed after the Chelsea match that there’s nothing in the rumours.

A more likely signing for the Gunners might be Gonzalo Higuain, who has rejected the chance to sign a contract extension with Napoli this week.

Arsenal need Giroud - or someone else - to score more

In order to win the title, Arsenal need goals from their main centre-forward. Giroud has never scored more than 16 Premier League goals in a season since joining the Gunners three years ago.

Walcott scored 14 Premier League goals from a wide position in the 2012-13 campaign and is now mature enough to be seriously considered as an option for Arsenal upfront.

But Giroud clearly fancies his chances of retaining his status as Arsenal’s first-choice centre-forward if Walcott is his only serious competitor.

Arsenal fans: who should start upfront for the Gunners against West Ham this weekend? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!

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Theo Walcott
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