sport

Giroud eyes title charge

Olivier Giroud believes Arsenal's impressive Community Shield victory over Manchester City proves they are ready to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The French striker scored one of the Gunners' goals as they brushed last season's champions City aside at Wembley on Sunday.

It is a hugely encouraging result for the north London club, who ended a nine-year wait for silverware last season when they beat Hull City to win the FA Cup.

Arsene Wenger has bolstered his squad by signing Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, defenders Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers and goalkeeper David Ospina and Giroud feels that this season they can avoid the late-season slumps that have marred recent campaigns.

\"Last year we did well until March and then we had a bad run after,\" said Giroud. \"We have a good quality squad and that is why I think we will be stronger this year.

"We wanted to come back and be stronger than last year. When our German World Cup players (Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker) join us we will be stronger and hopefully stay that way until May."

Giroud's goal is a timely reminder of his talent following the 30m arrival of Sanchez from Barcelona.

Wenger has hinted that the Chile international could be used as a lone striker but Giroud feels there is room for both of them in the starting line-up.

"I have a good understanding with Alexis,\" added Giroud. \"It is always easy to play with this kind of player.

"He will need some more games to adapt his game to the Premier League but he is a fantastic player so I think he will do a great season.