I was really nervous! Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud reveals final-day tension
Olivier Giroud admits he was "really nervous" as he watched Arsenal's clash with Newcastle from the bench last weekend
Olivier Giroud admits he was “really nervous” as he watched Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle from the bench before coming on as a late substitute.
Laurent Koscielny scored the vital goal early in the second half as the Gunners clinched a 1-0 win at St James’ Park and sealed qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Giroud made a late appearance from the bench but concedes that he was overcome with nerves as he watched from the sidelines.
“On the bench it was really nervous,” Giroud told Arsenal’s website. “It’s always worse when you don’t play.
“It was really difficult but in the second half Laurent, my French friend [scored]. I’m so happy that he scored.
“The goal relieved us and we could dominate the game after. We became more confident. We had our destiny in our hands. It was very difficult but the finish was amazing.”
Giroud, who scored 17 goals and made 11 assists in his first season at Arsenal since joining the club last summer, wants to help the Gunners improve their European performances next term.
“It’s 16 years in a row we’ve succeeded to qualify for the Champions League. We knew it was really important. For me it will be the second season in the Champions League.
“When you play in the Champions League, you always improve yourself and it’s better for competition. We are competitors and want to play in the top games. I really enjoy playing against big clubs like Bayern Munich. I would like to go further next year.”