Olivier Giroud believes he is enduring possibly his worst start to an Arsenal season and has been hurt by Arsene Wenger’s decision to drop him.
Giroud was given a prolonged break after France’s run to the final of Euro 2016 and has started just one game this campaign.
Alexis Sanchez’s transition to a central role has made it difficult for the striker to force his way back into the starting XI, though he recently scored twice in a 4-1 Premier League win at Sunderland and found the net against Ludogorets in the Champions League.
Asked if this was his least impressive beginning to a campaign with the Gunners, Giroud told L’Equipe: “Yes, that is possible.
“When I look from the stands at Arsenal, a team that plays well and made a very good start to the season, it seems my train leaves without me and I must not get too far behind.
“The coach has given me a month of complete holiday, as with Lolo [Laurent Koscielny]. They have the need to offer a real break to the players who went far in the competition in the years of the Euros or World Cup.
“I had wanted to play again quickly, but he [Wenger] really insisted that I take my time telling me that some players returned to their best level in November.”
Giroud was sent off late on at Paris Saint-Germain last month, a game he was extremely disappointed to be benched for.
“I thought I would start [against PSG] because the coach had put me on the bench against Southampton three days before. But no,” Giroud added.
“It is in that moment, on the morning of the match in Paris, that I had a discussion with him. He said that I was close to returning. Frankly, I was hurt, disappointed.”