Wenger: Every Arsenal player has first-team class

Date published: Wednesday 23rd September 2015 9:44

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott: Competing for strike berth at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger says he will continue to rotate Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, insisting there are “no fringe players” at Arsenal.

Giroud will start against Tottenham in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night after Walcott was chosen for the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

Wenger reserved praise for Giroud ahead of the trip to White Hart Lane but hinted he will select his centre-forward for each game depending on the opposition.

“With Giroud, it is a competition with Walcott,” Wenger said. “When one plays people always ask, ‘Why did you not play the other one?’

“When you have two top-level strikers, some games Giroud plays and some games Walcott plays. Nobody anymore can play 60 games per season.

“What we want to do is make the right decision for the right game. Giroud is a guy who has a positive attitude, who is ready to have a go.

“He is a very strong man and, with his back to the wall, Giroud can always respond. I think he has assets in the game.

“For two guys it can be interesting for the squad as they both have different qualities. They complement each other very well.

“Giroud’s all-round game is vital because it is one of his assets. He can protect the ball, he can hold the ball, he can bring other players in.

“That’s one of the big parts of his game and that is why he creates so many chances and that is why the other players love him and love to play with him.”

In the Premier League so far this season, Giroud has played 305 minutes and Walcott has played 284 minutes. The Frenchman has scored twice and the Englishman has netted once.

Wenger confirmed he is unlikely to blood too many youngsters in the heat of a north London derby.

He said: “At the moment the youth-team players, many of them who are ready to play for us are away on loan. The next players who have the talent are not completely ready to play at that level.

“With the difficulty of the opponent as well, you do not want to throw them into a game where they look out of place.”

Wenger believes Arsenal have the depth of squad needed for all competitions.

“There are no fringe players, there is only a first-team squad. Everybody is of the same importance,” he said.

“You do not look at one player and think he is more important than another player. You just think he is an important player for the club.”


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