Olivier Giroud is not worried about his Arsenal goal drought and does not feel under extra pressure following the return of Danny Welbeck.
Giroud has scored 18 goals in all competitions so far this season but has not netted in eight games going into Sunday’s Premier League game at Manchester United.
Failure to score at Old Trafford would make this the longest drought of Giroud’s Arsenal career, but the Frenchman is not too concerned as he looks for the final five goals to beat his previous record of 22 goals in a season for the Gunners.
He told Sky Sports: “As a striker, it is all about momentum. I did well until mid-January, but it has been one-and-a-half months since I last scored.
“I try to help the team to set up the game and assist my team-mates, which I am pleased about, but obviously as a striker I want to score.
“But I am not worried about that. I work for the team and when I have the opportunity to put it in the net I will do it with determination, and hopefully this weekend.”
On his critics, Giroud added: “It’s the game. When you are a striker and you score, you are at the top and on the front page. If you do not score you are also maybe on the front page in a bad way because you did not succeed to help the team win.
“But it is a game and I have known this for a few years. I am OK with that and deal with it every single week. I know what I have to do on the pitch.”
Giroud’s place in the team is now under threat from Welbeck, who earned Arsenal a crucial victory over Leicester City on his return from injury, but the 29-year-old does not feel under extra pressure now his fellow forward is back available.
“No [pressure], not at all,” Giroud said. “I am asking him all the time how his body feels. He is a good lad and I have a good understanding with him.
“I am happy that he is back as he is very important for the team as he brings us some power and pace up front, and some physical presence as well, so we are very complimentary.
“But the problem is we cannot both play up front, I think it is even better for the boss to have several strikers with different qualities and I am happy for that and for him that he scored against Leicester.
“I know this feeling after coming back from injury – even more for him because it was a long one.”
On the possibility of starting on the bench at Old Trafford, Giroud added: “The players who do not start the game need to bring something when they come on the pitch, so my motivation will definitely be high even if I do not start the game.
“I am obviously happier on the pitch, but if the boss wants to change his tactics or play more on the counter-attack, I am happy with that and to help the team when I get in.”