Champions League

Give Arsenal hell - coach

2012-09-17 21:03
Rene Girard (File)

Montpellier - Montpellier coach Rene Girard has called on the club's fans to turn their stadium into "hell" for Tuesday's Champions League opener against English powerhouses Arsenal.

Where Montpellier are appearing in Europe's top club competition for the very first time, Arsenal have reached the group phase for the 15th season in succession and are looking to make the last 16 for the 13th campaign in a row.

Montpellier are also struggling in the league, having lost three and drawn one of their opening five matches, and Girard says the fans at Stade de la Mosson will be key if the underdogs are to give a good account of themselves.

"The one conviction I have is that tomorrow (Tuesday) we'll have 30 000 supporters and not 30 000 spectators, which will be very important," he said.

"We've had some great moments over the last three years but this season we've had some bad moments, and we need the fans to help us turn the stadium into hell for Arsenal."

He added: "I'm not used to letting myself get beaten. The objective today is to play an exceptional match. You don't play Arsenal every day, especially not in the Champions League.

"We've had a difficult start in the the championship, but as I've been telling the players, it's up to us to turn things around.

"It's a huge thing to be among the best 32 European teams. I know that everyone is wondering how we'll avoid getting beaten tomorrow, but I'm sure that we'll show up."

Montpellier's defence, the meanest in Ligue 1 last season (they conceded 34 goals, the same number as Toulouse), has been uncharacteristically porous in their first five league matches, in which they have conceded eight goals.

Girard, though, says the prestige of the Champions League will oblige his players to play with extra focus in their opening Group B assignment.

"Football today means you attack and defend as 11," he said.

"Our defence hasn't exactly been the Berlin Wall of late but this match will force every individual in the team to raise their level."

There will be a familiar face in the Arsenal squad on Tuesday, with Olivier Giroud returning to Montpellier for the first time since he left the club in the summer.

The France striker is still waiting for his first Arsenal goal, and lost his place in the starting XI to Gervinho in Saturday's 6-1 demolition of Southampton.

Girard said that Giroud's presence on the team-sheet would not fundamentally alter his side's approach, but admitted he hopes his former charge receives a favourable reception from the Montpellier fans.

"They have something like 20 internationals so whoever's on the pitch will be complicated, whether it's Olivier or another player," he said.

"Olivier Giroud only left good memories. He worked hard for the club and I think the fans will welcome him as they should. But just a little hello and a little wave, and then we'll get down to business."

Read more on:    arsenal  |  montpellier  |  champions league  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Fixtures
13 September 2016
FC Bayern München v FC Rostov, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Celtic, Camp Nou 20:45
Benfica v Besiktas, Estadio da Luz 20:45
Manchester City v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Napoli, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Arsenal, Parc des Princes 20:45
PSV v Atlético de Madrid, Philips Stadion 20:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 20:45
14 September 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v CSKA Moscow, BayArena 20:45
FC Porto v FC København, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Club Brugge v Leicester City, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Juventus v Sevilla, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Lyon v Dinamo Zagreb, Parc OL 20:45
Legia Warsaw v Borussia Dortmund, Pepsi Arena 20:45
Real Madrid v Sporting Lisbon, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Monaco, Wembley 20:45
27 September 2016
CSKA Moscow v Tottenham Hotspur, Arena Khimki 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Legia Warsaw, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Leicester City v FC Porto, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus, Maksimir 20:45
FC København v Club Brugge, Parken Stadion 20:45
Sevilla v Lyon, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
28 September 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona, Borussia-Park 20:45
Celtic v Manchester City, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v FC Basel, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v PSV, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Napoli v Benfica, San Paolo 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Paris Saint-Germain, Vasil Levski National Stadium 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Bayern München, Vicente Calderon 20:45
Besiktas v Dynamo Kyiv, Vodafone Arena 20:45
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena Khimki 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.