Koscielny tells ‘focused’ Arsenal to go on another run

Date published: Tuesday 27th December 2016 2:39

LLaurent Koscielny: Not giving up on CL just yet

Laurent Koscielny praised the strength in depth in the Arsenal ranks after Olivier Giroud marked his first Premier League start of the season with a Boxing Day late winner against West Brom.

Laurent Koscielny praised the strength in depth in the Arsenal ranks after Olivier Giroud marked his first Premier League start of the season with a Boxing Day late winner against West Brom.

Having played second fiddle to Alexis Sanchez for much of the campaign, injuries to Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Giroud a chance in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up.

On what was looking like a frustrating afternoon as the Gunners struggled to break down the West Brom rearguard, who had goalkeeper Ben Foster in particularly fine form, Giroud headed home an 87th-minute effort to earn a 1-0 victory.

The win keeps Arsenal within sight of London rivals Chelsea, who are nine points clear of Wenger’s men at the league summit, and defender Koscielny believes Giroud’s temperament while being on the sidelines has been exemplary.

“He stayed focused with the team,” France international Koscielny told arsenal.com.

Olivier Giroud: Arsenal matchwinner against WBA

“We are not 11 or 18 players, we are 25 players. All the players who play for Arsenal have a big part to play during the season because of injuries and suspensions, and everyone needs to be ready to fight for this club.

“Olivier started and he tried to give his best on the pitch. He fought and it’s good for him to score the winning goal.

“It was so important because last week we lost two games in seven days and we wanted to get back to winning three points.

“It was a hard game because West Brom play with their qualities, which include making big blocks, and that made it hard for us to find a good solution.”

Arsenal went into the clash having lost their previous two outings at Everton and Manchester City, results which saw them slip further away from in-form Chelsea, and Koscielny admitted the players needed the morale boost of returning to winning ways.

“We lost the first game of the season (against Liverpool) and we came back with a good run and a lot of wins,” he added.

“We lost two games in a week last week and it was very important to come back with a win. The confidence will come back when you win and the most important thing now is to continue to win games in a row so that hopefully we can get into the first position.”

 

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