Belfast Telegraph

Giroud pleads for patience

Olivier Giroud has urged Arsenal fans to show patience as he looks to step out from Robin van Persie's shadow.

Holland forward Van Persie has joined Manchester United in a £24million deal following a public statement earlier in the summer that the former Gunners skipper would not be signing a new deal.

"Last season was wonderful here for Robin, but before that, he took time to settle. I am just asking people to be a little patient with me," Giroud said.

"I am not here to make people forget Robin, because he has made beautiful things here, but I just want to bring something new.

"However, I am under no more pressure than that, because if I think about that when I go onto the field, I will play with the handbrake on.

"I know Arsenal is a great club and needs a striker ready and efficient quickly. I need games to get confidence, and it is up to me to succeed."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepted his side lacked a cutting edge in attack following Saturday's goalless draw with Sunderland at Emirates Stadium.

Giroud, though, could have made the difference after coming off the bench in the second half - but when the big chance came as he ghosted into the penalty area with nine minutes left, the French striker rushed his shot and fired wide.

However, after his 21 goals helped Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title last season, the 25-year-old is confident things will all soon fall into place with Arsenal.

"It was a game ball, but the coach told me that I had not to worry about it," said Giroud, signed in what was understood to be a £10million deal. "This could have been the dream start, but in Montpellier, I did not score for my first game, so I am not worried. Here, I will have plenty of chances and I will score."

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