Olivier Giroud has opened up regarding his recent struggles at Arsenal, conceding that he may be experiencing the most difficult start to the season of his four-year stint in English football. The physical striker has made just eight appearances so far this term after being rested in the aftermath of helping hosts France reach the final of Euro 2016 and also missing a month due to a lingering toe injury – with his solitary start coming in last week's meeting with Ludogorets Razgrad.
Giroud followed up his quickfire substitute's brace against struggling Sunderland by heading home the Gunners' second during that 3-2 Champions League victory in Bulgaria. However, he returned to the bench on Sunday (6 November) for the north London derby draw with unbeaten rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger again selected Alexis Sanchez to lead the forward line.
He was introduced in the 70th minute as the hosts searched for a winning goal that would have taken them top of the Premier League after Kevin Wimmer's first-half own goal was cancelled out by a Harry Kane penalty. However, he could not convert any of the multitude of late crosses swung into the penalty area.
Many fans may support Giroud's continued absence from the starting XI with Arsenal tending to become more one dimensional when he is on the pitch, although the player himself is clearly understandably frustrated over a lack of regular first-team opportunities.
"The manager has said that he admires my strength of character," he said in an interview with L'Equipe, as translated by Get French Football . "I know that he supports me. But... this [lack of playing time] cannot go on for too long and cannot happen too often.
"It is beginning to wear off... Against Sunderland, I scored a brace on the first two balls that I touched. That does not happen to me everyday. I hoped to play against Tottenham because I was coming off the back of two good matches. I was a bit disappointed, but I am not the type of person to throw my toys out of the pram."
On whether or not this was his hardest start to a campaign since joining Arsenal from then Ligue 1 champions Montpellier in a £12m ($14.8m) deal back in June 2012, the 30-year-old, who has retained his place in Didier Deschamps' latest France squad for forthcoming matches against Sweden and the Ivory Coast, added: "Yes, that is possible. When I look from the stands at Arsenal, a team that plays well and made a very good start to the season, it seems my train leaves without me and I must not get too far behind."