The 27 year old, who sat out the Gunners last two games made an instant impact and repaid his manager’s faith by scoring twice and setting up another in the first half of the comfortable victory over the Black Cats.
Arsene Wenger was full of praise for the Frenchman’s character, who was benched for the last 2 games following his recent off-field issues.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
I had no hesitation about his strength of character. Of course you want him to come back into the team and be successful, which he was today because he scored two goals.
One great one at the end of great movement and the other a little bit of a gift from Sunderland. He got an assist as well, so he did well.
The French manager also expressed his satisfaction at the manner of his side’s win as they recovered from their 2-0 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich in midweek. He added:
We had a very demanding week physically and mentally and we gave the right response today. We did the job in the first half and we scored two great ‘Arsenal’ goals; one of them scored by Giroud, the other by Rosicky.
I am very pleased for Rosicky because today Bergkamp got a statue and I think Rosicky took the Bergkamp role well. Certainly Dennis will have been pleased to have seen him play.
He was rested for the last two games, due to fatigue reasons coupled with fresh allegations of him having an affair with a supermodel the night before a match and he responded to that with one his best displays of the season.
The Frenchman’s calmness in front of goal was indicative of his improving finishing ability and his brace took his Premier League tally to 12, one more than he managed in the entirety of last season’s competition. His strong hold-up play and ability to facilitate the attack for his teammates has been the key. But he’ll need to play at this level for the rest of the season, if Arsenal are to end their trophy drought.
Were you impressed with his performance against Sunderland? Share your thoughts in the comments below.