• Premier League

Giroud targets Arsenal title challenge

ESPN staff
June 13, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Olivier Giroud believes Arsenal can challenge for the title if they fire early © Getty Images
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Olivier Giroud believes Arsenal must defy their recent record and get off to a strong start next season if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

Arsenal's poor performances in the opening weeks last season gave them a mountain of work to do to secure a top four finish ahead of Tottenham.

But Giroud has taken solace in his side's dominant end to the league campaign, insisting it is proof that a 14th domestic title is not out of the realm of possibility if the Gunners fire early.

"If we start better than we did this season, I know that we will compete for the title next year because we are used to playing together now and have improved as a team," Giroud told the Arsenal Magazine.

"We have also improved as individuals throughout the season, especially the newcomers like Santi (Cazorla), Lukas (Podolski) and me."

Giroud was heavily criticised for his early form at the Emirates Stadium after joining Arsenal from Montpellier last summer, but he is confident of proving his worth to Arsene Wenger with a full season under his belt.

"It was not easy at all. It was a massive challenge," he said. "I hope that as early as my second season, I can play week in week out and keep scoring regularly because it's key for a striker.

"I have scored fewer compared to last season in Montpellier but the ratio, minutes played to goals scored, is good. I scored 17 goals in all competitions and gave 10 assists which, for a first season in England, is good. I am happy with the stats.

"However, you can always do better and I know I can do better and there is a lot of room for improvement. That is why I am already looking forward to next season."

Arsenal have been linked with a number of strikers recently, including Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and wantaway Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.

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