Arsenal have been kicking along nicely into their preseason campaign with three straight dominating victories over an Indonesian All-Star team, Vietnam and most recently Japanese side Nagoya Grampus. Two of the club’s standouts made comments to Arsenal.com on Jul. 24, 2013, about their feelings on the club’s summer preseason campaign thus far.
One of the strongest performers of the summer for the Gunners so far is French international striker, Olivier Giroud. With seven goals in just 110 minutes of playing time so far this summer, the 26-year-old looks to be gearing up for a strong sophomore campaign in England.
The Frenchman scored 17 goals in all competitions for the club last season and he already is claiming that he has been working at building his mental toughness and states that confidence is key to having a great season this year:
“Confidence makes all the difference. Confidence is the first thing you have to work on – you have to work on your mental [side of the game] and keep going. It is something you must have when you are a football player.
I am happy with my efficiency. I had as well a good ball from Tomas, I had a good position to receive the ball and I finished well. I am happy with it and I want to keep going and help the team to win. Tonight we succeeded, we were efficient, Theo scored and Ryo at home as well so we are really happy.”
Additionally, Giroud claims that he doesn’t feel much different this coming season as opposed to his first year with the club in 2012-13, but his relationship with his teammates is what is making the difference so far this go around:
“I don’t really feel different compared to last year but maybe I know my team-mates very well now so I am more confident and I feel ready on the pitch.
I do things naturally and we find each other better on the pitch. We have a better relationship now and I really want to do my best for this season.”
However, the Frenchman is not the only forward on the team that is high on confidence this summer. German international winger and central striker Lukas Podolski likewise also is entering his second year at the Emirates and is looking strong in preseason.
With the club being linked to multiple big name forwards such as Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain, Podolski claims that he fears competition from no new player and that it is competition and big names that makes the club stronger:
“I’m not scared about big names – I’m happy when big names come in. When a big striker or a big defender comes in, they help the team and they help me. We will see what happens in the next [few] weeks.
Every season is the same; players come in and go out. The newspapers write a lot of names but I think we have a good team and a good atmosphere here. When players come in, it’s good for the Club.
We are at a big club at Arsenal, so when all players are fit and we don’t have injuries, there’s a big competition. Every player loves to play football and nobody wants to sit on the bench.”
The German scored 16 goals last season for Arsenal and he will hope to add many more to that category this coming campaign. His strengths see him as both a solid goal scorer and service providing wide player and this coming year is likely to see a much more in-tuned version of the 28-year-old.
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