Arsene Wenger sends message to Arsenal star Olivier Giroud: Watch your back!

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Olivier Giroud

Arsene Wenger has warned “If you go on counter-attack of course he is not the kind of player that you want or select first”  

Arsene Wenger the Arsenal boss admitted he wasn’t sure how Giroud would handle being left out. Giroud’s treble at Olympiakos on Wednesday booked the Gunners place in the Champions League knockout stages. But Wenger stressed the France star’s lack of pace means he will left out certain matches, with the pacier Theo Walcott selected as central striker instead.

Arsene Wenger made the switch for the crucial 2-0 victory at home to Bayern Munich in October when he knew his men would be on the back-foot and would need to try to catch the Germans on the break. Although Giroud looks likely to keep his place at Aston Villa on Sunday, he faces being sacrificed for the visit of title rivals Manchester City eight days later. 

“If you go on counter-attack of course he is not the kind of player that you want or select first,” said Wenger. “That is why when we played against Bayern I chose Walcott, because you know you play more in your own half and you have to go out quickly. “When you dominate the game and need presence in the box there is no better player than Olivier. “The problem you have if he doesn’t play regularly is that is he happy enough to continue to be the man you want him to be?” 

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Wenger revealed the north Londoners paid Montepllier just £9m for Giroud, due to a clause in his contract.

He added: “I believe as well because he is not an electric type of player, he gets less spectacular actions and less credit as well. “You see a guy who is electric and goes out you say ‘that is fantastic’. “But the kind of header he scored for the first goal against Olympiakos, you do not get so much credit.” 

Arsene Wenger also revealed Chile ace Alexis Sanchez would be returning from his homeland to resume training on Monday.

He picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw at Norwich on November 29 and Wenger added: “I sent him back to Chile, where he has been running with the physio of the national team, and we will see what kind of state he is in next week. “He may be a bit short for City, certainly, but with Alexis you never know!”