Arsenal star admits he wanted to take penalty against Fulham
Olivier Giroud admitted he felt confident enough to take Arsenal’s injury-time spot-kick against Fulham on Saturday, but didn’t feel he could override Arsene Wenger’s list of preferred penalty-takers.
Giroud was on a hat-trick when the Gunners were awarded the last-gasp chance for redemption after a handball by Fulham’s Sascha Riether, but Mikel Arteta took responsibility only to see his effort brilliantly saved by Mark Schwarzer.
“I think Mikel took the ball and he wanted to score because he had conceded the penalty at the other end. He really wanted to score,” said Giroud.
“But yes, I was confident. Some guys have already asked me why I didn’t take the ball but it’s like that before the game. The boss has a list of penalty takers.
“It’s very difficult because Mikel was under pressure. In the last minute, it’s not very easy to shoot a penalty but it’s like that. We need to concede fewer goals because it’s too difficult to win the games if we concede a lot of goals.”
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Giroud denied the pressure of a difficult week that began with a defeat at Manchester United and also included the loss of a 2-0 lead in Germany against Schalke in the Champions League was getting to the side.
“I don’t feel so much the pressure from my point of view. I don’t know what it is. It’s a bad run but there is a lot of quality in this team. We will have better days ahead.
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“We have to show solidarity at this moment, not to say ‘Yes, it’s your mistake.’ We have to stick together.
“We need to work harder and to continue. It’s difficult for us. We are in the moment where a lot of things are against us and we have to continue together, to keep going because we are in a bad run and I hope after the national break, we find a good rhythm.”