Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Koscielny backs Giroud to earn spot

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Oct 2016

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Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny backed Olivier Giroud to win back his spot when given the chance by Arsene Wenger.

Giroud, 30, has struggled for game time this season, playing just 51 Premier League minutes without a start.

Koscielny, also a team-mate of Giroud’s with France, said the striker would eventually get his opportunity.

“That’s a delicate situation for him. We came back late following the Euros. We joined the squad at another time. It took us more time to get fit,” he said.

“Olivier needed a little more time than others. Then there is a lot of competition up front at Arsenal.

“Alexis Sanchez is currently playing exceptionally well so it’s complicated to push him out the starting 11.

“I know Olivier and he’s experienced much worse. We know his mental strength. One season is very long so he’ll have his chance in the following weeks.

“He’ll then have to answer the call.”

Wenger’s men are flying high in third in the Premier League, and Sanchez has netted four times.

Koscielny, signed by his French manager from Lorient in 2010, was full of praise for Wenger, who recently celebrated 20 years in charge.

“He gave me a chance to play for a big club like Arsenal. He took the risk to buy me in a small club like Lorient, he shaped me, and he helped me grow as a player and as a man,” he said.

“And I think he won his bet. Every weekend I try to prove that he was right to trust me for this club, I try to do my best on the pitch.

“I’m not the only example, there have been plenty during these 20 years in Arsenal. That’s the work he did during all these years.”

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