'Arsenal lacked maturity' says Olivier Giroud

Arsenal hit man Olivier Giroud has taken a swipe at the mentality of his club team-mates following their slide from top in the Premier League

Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud has expressed his displeasure at his side's mentality for failing to remain top of the Premier League in the closing stages of the season.

The Gunners were in pole position in the league for large chunks of the season, before eventually finishing fourth behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Giroud, who scored 22 goals across all competitions for Arsenal, led the line well for the Londoners throughout the campaign, without any world-class back-up in his absence.

But the French international has admitted frustration at not holding on to top-spot in the Premier League, despite winning the FA Cup and ending a nine-year trophy drought with Arsenal.

"We were on top for a good half of the season and then we cracked," he told French newspaper Midi-Libre.

"I believe we lacked maturity and that we had a lot of injuries at an important time. Above all we weren't able to adapt to the big teams.

"We have to show progress in these matches, to maybe play less football, but it's difficult because it's our playing philosophy."

Arsenal won just one game against this season’s top-four finishers, when they beat Liverpool 2-0 at the Emirates back in November. They then conceded 17 goals in three away games to Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, losing 6-3, 5-1 and 6-0 in those games. The Gunners also failed to beat the struggling Manchester United, despite their decline out of the top-four.

Giroud will head to the World Cup with France this summer hoping that his countrymen will hold their nerve better than his club-mates. Les Blues sit in a group containing Switzerland, Honduras and Ecuador, and have been widely tipped to go far in the tournament.

Despite Giroud’s criticism of Arsenal this season, it doesn’t appear to have affected the striker too much, as he also confirmed he is looking to extend his stay at the Emirates.

"I still have two years on my contract but we are in negotiations to extend it."

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