Arsene Wenger was as amazed as anyone by the “exceptional’ scorpion kick Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.
But where does it rank in terms of the very best Arsenal goals he has witnessed in his 20 years at the club?
The boss revealed all in his post-match press conference and this is what he said:
on how highly Giroud’s goal ranks…I don’t know - I’ve been spoilt in my career, because I’ve had many great players and many great strikers. That is certainly in the top five.
on his top-five Arsenal goals…I remember Bergkamp, Henry… these special goals, you know. Bergkamp at Leicester, at Newcastle. Thierry Henry against Real Madrid, against Liverpool - these kind of goals. Kanu at Chelsea! It’s difficult for me not to forget goals in 20 years, when you score about 70/80 per year. By 20 [years] makes 1,600 goals - it’s difficult in a second to get the best five.
on whether the importance of the game elevates a great goal…Of course. When it’s 0-0 you want to start. What is maybe not enough acknowledged by people, maybe even by me, is that Olivier scores important goals. He scores at Man United with a special header this season to make it 1-1, he scores against West Brom in the 87th minute. He scores goals that have a weight in the result of the team.
on Giroud’s goal…You cannot work on that in training. It’s just a reflex. I think it was an exceptional goal because it was at the end of a fantastic collective moment, which is what our game is about. After that, it was a reflex that any goalscorer is able to take any part of his body, even if it is a little toe, to score a goal. I think Olivier had that kind of reflex. He transformed that goal into art - because of the surprise, because of the beauty of the movement and because of the efficiency. That will be remembered as the Giroud goal that nobody will forget. Every striker is certainly remembered for one, two or three special goals - and that will certainly be with him forever.
on how special the goal was…He brings the unexpected, and we all come to football to get the unexpected. People come to the games to see these kind of goals, yes.
More polls coming soon!
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