Olivier Giroud Speaks out on Alleged Affair, Hails Arsene Wenger's Support

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal applauds the crowd at the end of the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has publicly spoken about his alleged affair for the first time. The French forward admits he wishes "to forget about it" and wants to "make a new start."

Giroud is said to have taken model Celia Kay to the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, London, the night before Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0. Kay photographed the former Montpellier forward in his underwear on Feb. 1 and the image was subsequently leaked.

Although Giroud does not deny the allegations, he acknowledges the exact truth is yet to appear, as reported by Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:

There was some things which were true, some others were false. But that's the past. 

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I'm convinced that everything happened to me will make me stronger. 

That's all I need to do: focus on the pitch with my club and take care of my family.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal breaks forward with the ball under pressure from Mile Jedinak and Danny Gabbidon of Crystal Palace  during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium o
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Giroud provided an assist during the Palace match but has had his game time cut down since the incident was covered in the national press. He failed to appear during the Gunners' Champions League round of 16 match with Bayern Munich and played just two minutes in the FA Cup win over Liverpool, per WhoScored.com.

Arsene Wenger may use this period to rest the hard-working forward, but it appears the manager has tried to shield his player as much as possible. Giroud thanks the boss for his assistance in a situation that has been mentally difficult to deal with, per Mokbel's report:

It's been a difficult period. You have to be strong in your head. I used football as an outlet. The contribution of the coach Arsene Wenger was very important. I could talk with him.

Now I just want to forget about it, move on to something else and make a new start.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 01:  Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Britannia Stadium on March 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Giroud has been in fine form for Arsenal this season. His 14 goals in 32 appearances across the Premier League and Europe have coincided with eight assists as he continues to contribute in all competitions.

The 27-year-old made all the difference in the FA Cup tie with Everton, notching two late goals to send Arsenal through to the semifinals with a 4-1 victory.

Wenger will need his star striker to be fully focused across the coming month. Arsenal have a hellish schedule ahead of them, including a North London derby and fixtures with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City, ensuring Giroud must be in goalscoring form if the Gunners are going to continue competing this campaign—noted by Wenger on Arsenal's official Twitter account:

Giroud is likely to receive a new strike partner during the summer, but there's no denying Wenger has relied on him extensively this season.

The manager's willingness to chat off-the-field problems through may have helped save the confidence of a player who will be vital as the season closes. 


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