Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has admitted that it was “not easy” sitting on the bench, but believes his spell out of the team has made him stronger.
The former Montpellier striker was dropped by Arsene Wenger in September with Theo Walcott given a chance to impress in a central role.
But the 29-year-old put in a string of solid performances from the bench, including goals against Watford and Bayern Munich, and was eventually handed a return to the starting XI by Wenger for the recent 2-1 win over Everton and he has played in every Premier League game since.
“After the fact, you could say that it was beneficial,” Giroud told Le Parisien. “I made a solid comeback and I’m even stronger again. You always need a little shot in the arm when you’re feeling comfortable.
“It’s always good to question yourself… it’s not a bad thing, from time to time, to be faced with your responsibilities.”
The France international, who scored twice for Les Bleus in their recent 2-1 win over Denmark, has now scored eight times for Arsenal this season and has admitted life on the bench at The Emirates was tough.
“You have to remain focused on the basics and never give up.
“You have to respond when you’re called upon.
“You have to be hungry and your mental strength has to come to the fore. It’s not easy,” said the Chambery-born forward.
Giroud pointed to the brace he scored against Denmark on October 11 as the springboard for his return to form
“It wasn’t a period of famine where I was saying to myself ‘do I still know how to score goals?’
“I understood the tactical decision of the coach. But after four matches in a row on the bench, I had to reverse the trend.
“I said to myself ‘it can’t go on all the same.’ It wasn’t good for me, for the France team or for (my chance at) the European Championships.
“I didn’t want to spend the whole season on the bench. All of that made me react,” added Giroud.