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Olivier Giroud: 'Theo Walcott saga hampered me'

Olivier Giroud admits that reports over Theo Walcott's wish to play up front hampered his performances for Arsenal.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that his performances were hindered by Theo Walcott's recent contract situation at the Emirates Stadium.

It had been claimed that Walcott was reluctant to commit his future to the Gunners without a guarantee that he would be used as a centre-forward.

That is something that the England international strongly denied upon signing a new contract with Arsenal. However, Frenchman Giroud has confessed that the saga caused him to have a dip in form.

"It's true. I had a bad run in front of goal, and there were all the discussions concerning the contract extension of Walcott, who wanted to play through the middle. It wasn't easy," he told L'Equipe.

"Then we played Newcastle with that 7-3 win. I came off the bench 15 minutes from time, scored twice and just missed out on a hat-trick. But it's better now."

Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier last summer.

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