Euro 2016: Giroud Hopes To Emulate 1998, 2000 Heroes

Giroud, Euro 2016Arsenal striker, Olivier Giroud, hopes to become the latest in a long line of great French strikers to fire his country to glory at this summer’s European Championship.

The 29-year-old enters the tournament as Les Bleus’ leading scorer with 17 goals, including three in their warm-up games against Cameroon and Scotland.

Giroud grew up watching Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and would love to emulate their success on home soil.

“I was only 11 [in 1998] and it was one of my best memories as a fan of the French national team,” he told Arsenal Player.

“It was fantastic for all the French people to win the World Cup, especially at home. That’s why we want to make our French fans proud this summer.

“It was the continuity of the World Cup (when they went to Euro 2000). They confirmed their great form and almost kept the exact same squad. It is always difficult to win again two years afterwards, but they did very well with a fantastic scenario against Italy at the end of the final.

“I remember the pass from Robert Pires to Sylvain Wiltord, and then the pass to David Trezeguet who found the top-left corner. I couldn’t forget this goal.

“I also remember watching David Ginola, Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and strikers like that. I was looking to become a striker. I remember very good players like them, and also Thierry Henry, Trezeguet and Anelka too. We’ve always had very good strikers.

“It’s a great feeling (to be representing France in front of our home fans) and we’re all looking forward to that.

“We want to do well in front of our own fans so we’re going to do everything we can to bring the trophy back home.”

Ozil Is So Difficult To Stop – Henry

Mesut-Ozil-ArsenalThierry Henry has praised the “amazing” Mesut Ozil and says he is difficult to stop when in full flow.

The Germany International was one of the stand-out players in the FA Cup final, and scored five times and claimed nine assists in his second season at Arsenal.

Henry is a big admirer of Ozil and says his influence on the Arsenal team is growing.

“Mesut is a very good player, we all know about his quality, we all know about what he has done in the game,” he told Arsenal Player. “He is a world champion, you have to respect that and his vision on the pitch is tremendous.

“He is an amazing player. When he is on song like he was in the FA Cup final, he is difficult to stop.

“When you have the likes of Giroud in the box, Alexis Sanchez running at people and Theo too, Mesut can see a pass and control the game in the same way that Santi does.”

Henry believes that the likes of Ozil and Alexis have given Arsenal the quality to mount a sustained title challenge.

“I keep on mentioning players, all that we are waiting on is the consistency in the league,” he said. “I saw some of the players talking about that consistency, and I know they have the quality to do it.”


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My Secret Is My Surprise Instinct – Ozil

OzilMesut Ozil says the secret to his success is bringing a “surprise effect” to his play.

The World Cup winner had a fine season for Arsenal and played a starring role in the FA Cup final victory against Aston Villa.

Ozil’s impressive form continued with a hat-trick assists in Germany’s recent victory against Gibraltar and he puts it all down to playing on instinct.

“Sometimes I see passes and other players might be surprised and wonder how I saw it,” he told Arsenal Player. “My aim is to have that surprise effect on the pitch and find gaps that only very few players can.

“When you have that surprise instinct on the pitch, it’s tough for the opposition to stop the passes.

“It’s important to have that and it’s why I sometimes see spaces to pass into, because I’ve already thought about where my team-mates could run and how I can make the most of that millisecond, think a tick faster than the opposition and find the gap.

“A while ago I was on Instagram and saw that a fan had made a graphic showing what other players see and what I see. I found that really interesting.

“I think the things that I sometimes see come from an instinct and you can’t really learn that, though you can work hard at passing. I spontaneously decide on what I’m going to do and maybe see spaces that other players don’t.”

Ozil Has Proved Critics Wrong – Pires

OzilRobert Pires says that Mesut Ozil is one of the best players he has ever seen.

Ozil has been in fine form since returning from a three-month spell on the sidelines, claiming four goals and four assists in 15 appearances for Arsenal.

The World Cup winner curled in an inch-perfect free-kick against Liverpool on Saturday and Pires believes he deserves praise for another impressive performance.

“For me, the man of the match was Mesut Ozil,” the former Gunner told the Arsenal Magazine. “And I am so glad that he proved his critics wrong.

“Too many people have criticised him this season and overall since he arrived at Arsenal. I train with him regularly and I can tell you that he is one of the best players I have seen.

“He loves this club and cares a lot about it. He wants to win trophies here and wants to make the fans happy, like he did against Liverpool. First, there was his wonderful pass for Aaron on the first goal. Then he scored that wonderful free-kick for the second goal.

“Again, I am not sure Mignolet can do much better because the strike is so clinical and goes out before coming back in. But Mesut also worked hard for the team, he defended, he was precious on the ball and he was simply instrumental.

“You can see that his understanding with Aaron, Santi, Alexis or Olivier is perfect. I love seeing Mesut, Aaron and Olivier exchanging those short passes.

“Liverpool could not cope with our pass and move in this game. We overrun them in midfield, pressurised them at the back and contained them up front. This is a very important win for the rest of the season but also for next season.”