Arsene Wenger believes Olivier Giroud's physical and mental strength is proving a major asset to Arsenal's title challenge.
Giroud capitalised on a first-half howler from visiting goalkeeper Artur Boruc and converted a second-half penalty as Wenger's men stretched their lead at the Premier League summit to four points with a 2-0 victory over Southampton.
It took the France international striker's tally for the season to 10 goals, an unexpected return in light of his at times laboured attempts to get to grips with the English game after joining from Montpellier before the start of last season.
"Olivier is a positive character who is always ready for a battle," Wenger said.
"He's maybe completely different to the rest of the team but he gives us so much with his physical presence, with his link play that has improved tremendously and he has the mental qualities and a positive attitude."
Wenger conceded the run to double figures may have even surprised Giroud.
"Strikers will tell you, 'No, no - I'm not obsessed by scoring goals', but if they don't score they are sick.
"It is a relief for him I believe as well because he didn't expect it himself to score so many from the start of the season but that will only boost his confidence."
Wenger feels Southampton provided Giroud with the kind of physical battle he relishes, before suggesting such players are now a dying breed in Europe.
"He loves that he has a big frame and he uses his upper body well," he said.
"I said many times, Europe produces still fantastic football players but if you look we don't produce in Europe any more strikers, or very few.
"All the big strikers today come from South America. You look during the summer period, you had Falcao going to Monaco in a big transfer, Cavani going to Paris Saint Germain, Suarez - everybody wanted to buy him, Higuain has gone to Napoli for a lot of money.
"But that's an area where in Europe it is very difficult to find because we produce less strikers. Even a country like Germany, where I can remember in every big club they had a big striker.
"They have produced fantastic players but they do not produce young strikers and maybe is that a consequence of the way we coach; is that a consequence of modern life? I don't know."
|12||O. Giroud||22' 86'|
|Coach: A. Wenger|
for Santi Cazorla 70'
for Arteta 74'
for M. Özil 81'
|Rafinha injury blow for Barcelona|
|Villas-Boas fumes at CSL foreign player crackdown|
|Ibrahimovic invaluable to Manchester United youngsters - Rashford|
|Robben rejected China move|
|A-League review: Phoenix rise to the occasion to end Victory´s streak|
|Van Gaal slams English media over treatment at Manchester United|
|Mignolet: Liverpool in better position to win title than in 2013-14|
|Giroud wants Premier League title but understands China temptations|
|Tianjin forced to scrap moves for Costa, Benzema, Cavani and Falcao|
|My goal was better than Mkhitaryan´s - Giroud|
|Pochettino not interested in Argentina job|
|Kane: Tottenham can win Premier League|
|Corinthians dreaming of Drogba - Paulo Roberto|
|Coutinho calls for Liverpool focus|
|Chiellini compares Pogba to LeBron and Bolt|
|Maradona to become Napoli ambassador|
|Mihajlovic furious after Torino collapse|
|Icardi has offers from China - Wanda Nara|
|Pogba can cope with pressure - Ibrahimovic|
|´My half-time words will stay in the dressing room´ - Montella annoyed with AC Milan|
|Juventus unveil dramatic change to club logo - but not everyone´s a fan|
|´I do not think I will return to coaching´ - Van Gaal set to call it quits|
|Torino 2 AC Milan 2: Bacca caps thrilling comeback as hosts pay the penalty|
|DR Congo 1 Morocco 0: Kabananga pounces on blunder to give 10 men the points|
|´Happy and comfortable´ Sanchez dismisses Arsenal exit talk|
|How much?! West Ham flop Simone Zaza could cost Valencia €20m|
|Mali v Egypt: Salah leads Pharaohs´ bid for AFCON glory|
|Sevilla concede they ´cannot force´ sporting director Monchi to stay|
|Ivory Coast 0 Togo 0: Reigning champions held to opening draw by Adebayor and co.|
|Goalkeeping woes, Stones and tactical confusion - How Guardiola is making life difficult for himself|
|Ozil and Sanchez can be persuaded to stay - Cech|
|Pogba: I rejected Barcelona and Real Madrid|
|Ghana v Uganda: Gyan dreams of first trophy since 1982|
|Chiellini: Juventus a work in progress|
|Robben agrees Bayern renewal until 2018|
|Hazard: Goals do not matter to me|
|Bennell pleads not guilty to eight child sex offences|
|Muller fed up with debate over Bayern role|
|Wenger glad Sanchez is not ´a Costa problem´|
|Flick resigns as DFB´s sporting director|
|Gomis ´can´t wait´ to welcome Payet to Marseille|
|Chinese FA changes foreign player rules after ´irrational´ spending|
|Like father, like son: Justin Kluivert follows in dad´s footsteps|
|´No reason to lose him´ - Marotta rubbishes talk of Allegri exit|
|Courtois: We don´t need Costa|
|Kane: Tottenham players won´t go to China|
|Noble ´angry and disappointed´ with Payet|
|Klopp furious over Matip uncertainty|
|Wenger surprised by tight Premier League|
|´Money is not everything´ - Conte issues warning amid China speculation|
|Fiorentina defeat a ´bad setback´ - Allegri|
|´This will elevate this group of players´ - Sampaoli revels in Sevilla late show|
|WATCH: Rio Ferdinand screams and dances in crazy Man Utd celebration|
|Real Madrid relaxed, admits Zidane after Sevilla defeat|
|Monaco go top of Ligue 1 with stunning Marseille victory|
|Ronaldo equals LaLiga penalty record as Real Madrid lose|
|Sevilla 2 Real Madrid 1: Stunning late comeback ends unbeaten run at 40|
|Fiorentina 2 Juventus 1: Brilliant Viola breathe life into Serie A title race|
|Tunisia 0 Senegal 2: Mane on target as favourites start strongly|
|Mourinho explains Klopp confrontation|
|Klopp delights in Alexander-Arnold display|
|Algeria must cut out mistakes against Tunisia - Leekens|
|Long balls led to Man Utd equaliser, says Klopp|
|´We attacked, Liverpool defended´ – Mourinho insists a point flattered Klopp´s men|
|DR Congo v Morocco: ´Confidence´ the Atlas Lions´ biggest hindrance ahead of AFCON opener|
|Ibrahimovic: Direct tactics worked for United|
|Guardiola rues gap to Chelsea after Goodison mauling|
|Algeria 2 Zimbabwe 2: Mahrez double prevents shock defeat|
|Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1: In-form Ibrahimovic saves hosts|
|Ivory Coast v Togo: AFCON champions hope to tame Le Roy´s ´troublemakers´|
|Guardiola lays City´s mental frailties bare after Goodison rout|
|Koeman hails ´perfect´ Everton after City mauling|
|Nice stalemate gives Monaco chance to go top|
|Guardiola suffers heaviest league loss in Everton thrashing|
|Neymar-esque Zaha is England´s loss – Bolasie|
|Everton 4 Manchester City 0: Koeman leaves old pal Guardiola´s title bid in tatters|
|Matip withdrawn from Liverpool selection over eligibility questions|
|Podolski staying at Galatasaray, insists sporting director|
|Cavani wants PSG stay|
|Torino move feels normal now – Hart|
|Chinese FA changes rule on CSL foreign players - reports|
|Bayern complete swoop for Hoffenheim duo Sule and Rudy|
|Aubameyang: Dortmund not really like Barca, Madrid or Bayern|
|Pogba can chance a game in one second - Herrera|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Perth Glory 2: Keogh´s eighth of season seals draw|
|Klopp: Liverpool ready for Old Trafford test|
|Herrera taunts Liverpool ahead of Old Trafford showdown|
|I had to be 100 per cent to stay at Boca - Tevez|
|No player is bigger than the club - Carroll takes swipe at want-away Payet|
|Icardi: I can always move to China at end of career|
|Mkhitaryan: Klopp convinced me not to join Liverpool|
|Mourinho: Pogba can score every game|
|Cameroon´s profligacy frustrates Broos|