In partnership with Paddy Power and Stonewall, a gay rights charity, Arsenal have stepped up to help “kick homophobia out of football” with the #RainbowLaces campaign. Everton were the first EPL team to join the cause, and hopefully more sides will throw their support behind it.
With hopes of raising awareness of the issues surrounding homophobia in football, Arsenal teamed up with Paddy Power and Stonewall to produce a short video that is as funny as it is effective.
Gunners stars Olivier Giroud, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla all feature in the clip. And just to give you a little taste of what’s in store, here’s what the PP blog had to say from behind the scenes of the taping:
The director, Jim Gilchrist, asked Olivier Giroud to take inspiration for his line from a certain Hollywood blockbuster.
“What is Zoolander? I do not know Zoolander,” came the bewildered reply from the 27-year-old Chambery-born striker.
“Should I just act more French?”
We don’t want to spoil any more of the punchlines, so just give the video a watch.
Players are being urged to to show their support by lacing up with rainbow laces over the Sept. 13-14, or Rainbow Lace weekend.
And remember … COWABUNGA!
(h/t Reddit, Image: Getty)
Image: Sunday Sun (via 101GG)
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has publicly apologized on social media for cheating on his wife, admitting to week-long rumors he had an early-morning affair with glamour model Celia Kay. This is Celia.
The affair is supposed to have occurred the night before Arsenal’s match against Crystal Palace on Feb. 2 in the team’s hotel room, breaking club rules. The picture above from the Sunday Sun, said to be taken by Kay, shows Giroud in his briefs in the room.
The married Frenchman had denied reports earlier, but now confessed on the indiscretions via Twitter, in both English and French:
I apologise to my wife, family and friends and my manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans.— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)February 16, 2014
Je présente mes excuses à mon épouse, ma famille, mon entraineur, mes coéquipiers et les supporters d’Arsenal.— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)February 16, 2014
I now have to fight for my family and for my club and obtain their forgiveness. Nothing else matters at the moment.— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)February 16, 2014
Je dois maintenant me battre pour ma famille et pour mon club, pour obtenir leur pardon. Rien d’autre ne compte désormais.— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)February 16, 2014
Giroud’s apology came just 90 minutes before Arsenal’s FA Cup 2-1 victory against Liverpool, for which he was notably absent from the first XI. Club manager Wenger answered why he left Giroud on the bench after the match:
"I kept Giroud on the bench because he looked a little tired. I know where you want to lead me, slowly but surely, but he has made a statement, and there’s not much more to add to that. I want to respect his privacy as well."
The scandal really couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Gunners play in the match of their season against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Wednesday.
As if getting outed for cheating on your wife by a newspaper picture of you in your briefs isn’t bad enough of a look, the last tweet before Sunday’s apology posts was this one:
— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_)February 14, 2014
The one thing Giroud can feel good about? He’ll never top Kolo Toure’s ridiculous affair story. You remember the story, when Toure pretended to his mistress he was a French car salesman? Yeah, that one:
— Jim Daly (@jimdalycomedy)February 16, 2014
When the signing of Mesut Ozil was finally announced on transfer deadline day, nobody should have been more excited than Olivier Giroud. The French striker must have been doing cartwheels in his underwear when he heard Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal assist master would henceforth supply him with goals practically served on a silver platter.
It didn’t take long, either.
Ozil needed just ten minutes in his Gunners debut to prove he is well worth the club record fee of $66 million. Check out this classy first touch and perfectly-weighted ball played to Giroud, who just needed to slot home to hand Ozil his first Premier League assist:
This should be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Arsenal won the match 3-1, but did get a late scare when Giroud went down in a heap with what looked like a non-contact knee injury. Should the prolific Frenchman — who has started the season with 4 goals in 4 EPL games — miss a few matches, Arsenal would be down to just three strikers: Yaya Sanogo, academy product Chuba Akbom and, gulp, Nicklas Bendtner.
That’s… not desirable, but in any case, Ozil’s debut should give Gunners fans plenty of confidence for the season.
Arsenal, so heavily criticized recently for not spending any money on new players in the transfer window, were facing free-spending Tottenham Hotspur in a momentous early season North London derby on Sunday, and they came out victorious.
Olivier Giroud scored the lone goal of the match for the Gunners, converting off of a nice Theo Walcott cross. With the win, Arsenal have jumped Tottenham and Stoke City for fourth place in the Premier League.
Hear, hear, Arsenal are top four! Still might want to add to the teeny tiny squad depth, though.
Image via Facebook
On the field, Arsenal enjoyed lots of goals on their preseason tour through Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia. It seems like the Gunners had a “blast” off the field as well.
For one, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker showed off their affinity for Japanese culture by dressing up as Samurai warriors and staging a live ‘showdown’ in front of teammates and fans. Seriously, this video might be the greatest thing to come out of Japan since the Sony Playstation:
(video H/T 101GG)
And if that wasn’t enough, the club posted a video of “Arsenal Tour Outtakes” to their website, chronicling the shenanigans of Mertesacker, Podolski, Olivier Giroud and co.
Warning: video may or may not include footage of Giroud in his underwear:
This is just one of those fantastic heartwarming stories that emerges from pre-season tours. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny narrates the tale of The Running Man who kept up with the Gunners’ coach during their Asian Tour in Vietnam and got to meet his heroes through sheer persistence.
Simple, but brilliant.
Runner-up for today’s goal of the day has to go to Arsenal's Lukas Podolski, though we'll credit his partner up front, Olivier Giroud, with half of it. Absolutely beautiful give-and-go between these two, and the German finishes with one of his trademark volleys to make it 2-0 Arsenal.
Who needs RVP?
Arsenal pair Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin were left embarrassed having prematurely thrown their jerseys into the crowd before being told they had to play extra-time following their 4-4 draw after 90 minutes against Reading on Tuesday night. Luckily, the pair were handed back their shirts before playing the extra 30 minutes, during which the Gunners completed a stunning comeback to win 7-5.