Olivier Giroud has had a tough time both on and off the pitch during 2014.
Two months after topping the Premier Leaguelater Arsene Wenger’s men find themselves seven points adrift of league leaders Chelsea and on the verge of an early Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Coupled with long-term injuries to key players such as Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere, as Arsenal approached almost rock-bottom heading into this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Everton, few would have expected such a turnaround in fortune.
Following their 4-1 victory over the Toffees, they are now sure-fire favourites to end their 8-year barren run without a trophy as they have reached the FA Cup’s final four– accompanied by Sheff Utd, Wigan Athletic and Hull City.
Arsenal’s victory over Everton also gave a fresh confidence boost to Mesut Ozil and striker Olivier Giroud.
The former Montpellier striker was caught up in some off-field personal problems throughout February, but put those behind him as he came off the bench and netted two late goals to add some gloss to the Arsenal victory.
Football has been a welcome distraction for the 27-year-old, and according to The Mirror, Giroud admits he’s at his happiest when Arsenal are producing their best:
He commented: "For a striker, it's always important to score. At the moment I am really hungry. My playground is the green square and when I'm there, I'm the happiest. I really enjoy it.”
"This was the case again against Everton. We played well in counter attacks on my goals, with two very good passes from Bac (Sagna) and Mesut (Ozil). I was not far from my first hat-trick. But hopefully it will be next time.”
"The semi-final will be a good opportunity to show that we can win a trophy this year. We want to reach the final. And we look forward to play at Wembley, especially me, because it will be the first time."
Will Olivier Giroud help Arsenal lift the FA Cup trophy this season?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald