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'Predictable' Giroud told to be craftier

ESPN staff
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Giroud says he has been too predictable in the penalty area © Getty Images
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Arsene Wenger has told Olivier Giroud that he has become too predictable and needs to be craftier in the penalty area.

The striker, who on Friday scored his first World Cup for France in their 5-2 thrashing of Switzerland, is haunted by opportunities he missed last season as Arsenal threw away a great chance to win the Premier League and ended up finishing fourth.

But he insists he will get better. "Arsene Wenger often gives me corrections after matches. We are talking about opportunities," Giroud told l'Equipe. "To him, I am not crafty enough. Once he told me I am too frank in my runs, too predictable. I have to be more confusing.

"I feel I can go on improving. I can improve some parts of my game and have better statistics.

"I am working hard in front of goal post to try to sort out some details. I think about missed opportunities, notably against Chelsea.

"I have to be more decisive in the box, but also in my way to keep the ball and defend. At least once a week I try to work in front of goal. I have been doing it systematically since I have been at Arsenal. I need it."

Giroud's header on Friday was his ninth goal for France in 32 appearances, but he admitted that scoring at a World Cup was a moment he will never forget.

"It's something that will stay with me throughout my career," he said. "When you score, you think about your loved ones, about your family. It's a very special moment - it's unique.

"It represents the aggregate of a whole career and it's great to feel that fulfillment and to have played an active role in the result. I wasn't aware that it was France's 100th World Cup goal - I only found out after the match."

Asked if the goal was 'revenge' for being left out of the starting XI despite impressive performances during France's World Cup warm-up matches, Giroud added: "I don't really like the word 'revenge'. I would prefer to say it was a personal victory.

"The course of my career has been atypical, just like Franck Ribery, Mathieu Valbuena and Laurent Koscielny. When I was 17, success in my career was far from a foregone conclusion. I've come a very long way to get here."

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