Arsenal have bolstered pre-match security at their team hotels to ensure players are not disturbed the night before a match.
The decision has been taken following the recent furore surrounding Olivier Giroud, who has been accused of having an extra-marital affair while on club duty, and also after complaints of disruptions the night before the disappointing 5-1 away defeat at Liverpool on February 8.
The night before an afternoon home fixture, Arsene Wenger's men stay in a hotel in Canary Wharf, east London.
As is standard practice at other clubs, the Arsenal squad travel to a hotel near their opponents’ ground the night before an away game.
It is claimed that the Arsenal players were kept awake throughout the night prior to the defeat at Anfield, which kicked off at 12.45pm.
The new security measures are also designed to help ensure players do not step out of line, following the allegations involving Giroud.
The France striker is said to have taken model Celia Kay back to the team hotel the night before Arsenal’s win against Crystal Palace on February 2 - a serious breach of club rules.
The club last night said they onstantly review their security procedures, which would remain private.
Wenger, meanwhile, has called on Giroud to step up and help Arsenal secure a top-four place and win the FA Cup this season.
He has scored 20 goals already this season but his manager wants more from a 27-year-old who still has ‘room for improvement’, particularly regarding the number of goals the 6ft 4in forward scores with his head.
With Mesut Ozil poised to come back into the Arsenal side in Sunday’s FA Cup final precursor against Hull City after recovering from a hamstring injury, Wenger said now is the time for Giroud to show his talent.
The Arsenal boss said: ‘He has done well this season, but, like Mesut Ozil, he has gone through a more difficult period recently.
‘He has scored 20 goals - that is a great record and he is working very hard for the team.
‘Maybe he has improved his  finishing but there is still some room for improvement. For example, you expect him to score more headers.
‘Is now the time for him to show what he is capable of? Yes.
‘He wins a lot of headers coming from deep, but with headers coming from wide areas there is still room for improvement.’
Key Arsenal central defender Laurent Koscielny has opened talks with the club over a new five-year contract.
Sportsmail revealed Arsenal’s intention to offer the France international an improved deal on March 5, and Koscielny’s agent has been in London this week for formal talks.
The contract would see the  28-year-old Koscielny become one of the club’s top earners, pushing his salary towards £100,000 a week.

No comments: