“I talked to the coach (Wenger) and the most important thing is to have the support of the people around you, who have faith in you, the staff, my team-mates. “Anyway we can only answer on the pitch and that is also why the FA Cup was important.” Giroud, though, will not hold any grudges, adding: “I am not really angry at him (Henry), we will talk about that together. “It is true that I found it surprising, but that is just football. “I don’t hold it against him and we will have a laugh about it when we see each other again.” Giroud’s goal at Wembley was a first in some nine appearances, having earlier been in rich scoring form, and saw him start on the bench as Theo Walcott was given his chance following a hat-trick on the final day of the Barclays Premier League season against West Brom. The French international, however, stressed he had no issues with Wenger’s decision and overall was happy with his season. “I had three difficult months. It was the first time I had been injured for so long, there was a lot of work to do, I had to be patient, work harder,” Giroud added. “Some people said that I came back stronger. I did some good work to get back in shape, re-boosted and balanced physically. “After that, I was very clinical and had good fortune. I had very good statistics in spite of a little drought at the end of the season. “It’s still a super season, and is great to end with a trophy.” Arsenal are expected to further strengthen the squad in the summer. Veteran Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is a well-reported target, along with Monaco’s defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and Morgan Schneiderlin at Southampton. Arsenal’s pre-season campaign includes a trip to the Far East for the Barclays Asia Trophy Singapore during mid-July, which will also feature Stoke and Everton. Giroud, though, also suffered his fair share of critics, especially in the wake of a disappointing personal display as Arsenal lost 3-1 at home to Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Henry, who is Arsenal’s record goalscorer and spearheaded the Invincibles side, went as far as to claim manager Arsene Wenger need to sign “a top, top-quality striker in order to win this league again” in the wake of the goalless draw with champions-elect Chelsea on April 26. While the World Cup winner has since moved to clarify his post-match TV pundit comments, claiming “people took it a bit the wrong way,” and instead stressing that “Olivier Giroud needs help”, the Gunners frontman will continue to take everything in his stride. “It is part of the game. I will never win unanimous support,” Giroud said at a press conference as he prepared with France for Sunday’s international against Belgium. “Apparently Titi (Henry) corrected himself recently, he said that he was thinking about competition, that he wanted Arsenal to have many strikers who can score goals. “He was a little brutal at the time, so it caused a fuss, but that is what he’s asked to do as a pundit and I didn’t lose any sleep over it. “Of course, it hurts your pride, it brings into question the work you do every day. “It irritates you, and I was a little annoyed, but I quickly put it behind me. Giroud took his tally to 19 with a late goal in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley last weekend. It was a positive end to a campaign which had seen the France forward sidelined for some three months with a broken leg, then battle back into the side following the £16million deadline day purchase of Danny Welbeck. Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud is not about to lose any sleep over “brutal” criticism on his game from former Gunners striker Thierry Henry or anyone else. Press Association
The women’s swimming and diving team had a great Friday afternoon, defeating the Bruins 181-119 – Williams Ehart | Daily TrojanThe USC women’s swimming and diving team (8-2, 6-1) dominated in the pool Friday, capping off another successful regular season with a 181-119 victory against UCLA (6-4, 3-4) at the Spieker Aquatics Center.Friday’s win gives the Trojans nine consecutive victories in dual meets against the Bruins, one short of their all-time win-streak in the series — USC defeated UCLA ten years in a row from 1994 to 2003.“I am obviously proud of our team’s record,” USC’s tenth-year head coach Dave Salo said. “We knew they were going to come at us with everything they had, but we felt we would come away with a win.”Though swim and dive meets consist of several different individual events, the victory was truly a team effort. USC’s “B” squad brought their A-game in the day’s opening event, when freshmen Hanni Leach, Kirsten Vose, junior Evan Swenson, and senior co-captain Lucy Worrall finished the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:38.27.Vose wouldn’t stop there, as she broke the pool and meet records in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:44.07, a personal record. Her time was one of the fastest in the country, especially impressive because she has only swum this particular event a handful of times this season. Later in the day, she broke the meet and pool records in the 200-yard breaststroke.Several other freshmen rose to the occasion alongside Vose: Elizabeth Stinson and Allie Wooden finished first and second, respectively, in the 1000-yard freestyle, and Madison Wright only missed a victory in the 200-yard butterfly by one-fifth of a second. Later, Destiny Nelson would take second place in the 200-yard backstroke and 400-yard individual medley. On the diving board, freshman Madison Witt led the charge for the Trojans, winning the 3-meter springboard and placing fourth in the 1-meter.“We had some strong results from a lot of our kids,” Salo said. “We really showed a balanced effort to come away with the win.”Junior Anika Apostalon was peerless in the sprints, winning the 50-and-100-yard freestyle races back-to-back. Senior Kasia Wilk finished second and third in those races, respectively.The overall victory was never truly in doubt, but it wasn’t until senior co-captains Kendyl Stewart and Worrall delivered strong first and second place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly that the Trojans officially sealed the deal.The Trojans would finish the meet the same way they started: with a commanding victory in a relay event. This time, the combined efforts of Apostalon, Swenson, Vose, and Wilk would be enough to beat UCLA by over a full second in the 200-yard freestyle relay.With Friday’s victory, the Trojans improved their stock heading into the postseason, where they will once again face off with their toughest in-state rivals, Cal and Stanford.“The women want to start a new streak,” Salo said. “We have a balanced team and can score a lot of points in every event … It will be a dog fight against Cal and Stanford, but the women are prepared and focused.”USC won’t compete again until February 24th, when the Pac-12 championships begin in Federal Way, Washington, but the win against UCLA affords them some momentum moving into the competition. Depending on their performance in the conference championship, the Trojans may have the opportunity to take their prowess in the pool onto the national stage for the NCAA Championships, which begin in mid-March. USC last won a team NCAA title in 1985.