Skilful, strong and bursting with confidence, Amine Gouiri is one of the most exciting young forwards in France, hitting double figures in terms of goals for the second season running!
The 22-year-old, who has shone since joining Niceis currently navigating the first testing period of his young and hugely promising career.
‘No reason not to feel good!’
“I’m flourishing here, I feel good! It’s true that these last few weeks I haven’t scored much, but we’re among the top places on the table, and in the Coupe de France final, so there’s no reason not to feel good! ” Gouiri told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS. “If I do not score but the team wins, that’s not a problem for me!”
A great attitude from the youngster, but one that isn’t tested all that often considering the regularity with which Gouiri has been scoring and assisting this season.
“I’m a very confident person, and I know what I’m good at! When I’m on a football pitch, I believe in myself,” said the OL youth academy product. “There are times when everything goes your way, and others not at all. But whatever happens you have to keep going, keep trying your luck and not be scared of doing something badly! That’s it really.”
Gouiri has shown in the past that he is indeed rarely scared of putting a foot wrong. His panenka penalty at Metz came after missing two consecutive spot kicks… Another sign of his enormous self-confidence!
“Maybe a bit yes, but I just wanted to hit it down the middle, then it was instinct! Before hitting it, I did not know that that was what I would do. But it ended up in the back of the net, “he recounted. “I’d just missed two consecutive penalties. It was a period where I felt good but those penalties misses hurt. I knew I had to get over them quickly, because you play every three days and you do not have time to dwell on things like that! It shows mental strength getting over your failings, and with that you gain experience and you become stronger for it! “
The Lyon academy product is adept at starting on the left flank under coach Christophe Galtier. The position allows him the freedom to move inside, play as a number 10 and still provide a real goal threat – a role the French U21 international revels in.
“I like cutting in from the right, cutting in, drawing a man towards me, looking for the one-two and shooting a curler towards the opposite post. That’s what I enjoy!” he beamed. “I’ve had success with that sort of shot but I need to keep working to make sure it goes in every time!”
‘Keep working’ could be Gouiri’s catchphrase, as the youngster knows that he always needs to be working on his game in order to stay ahead of the curve.
“I need to try shooting more with my left foot too to switch things up, but of course all opponents have video analysts now so you have to have variety in your game, to look for the near post rather than always opening up my body, “he explained. “All to get the edge, so your opponent does not know what to expect!”
Importantly, Gouiri and his coach are on the same page in terms of what the young star needs to do out on the pitch, allowing the striker to play to his strengths.
“It’s what I like doing and what the coach wants me to do, and leaves me the freedom to do! He knows what kind of player I am so he wants me between the opponents’ lines, providing the link between defense and attack – playing my football. That’s what I want, and he gives me that opportunity! “
Price for Galtier
Galtier has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks as Nice have dropped their high standards and slipped out of the top three. But it is exactly that frustration that is pushing Gouiri and his team-mates to better themselves, and climb back up onto the podium in the final three weeks!
“Honestly, he’s very demanding. And that can only benefit us!” Gouiri said of his widely respected coach. “He pays attention to the smallest details! Especially defensively… I’m not really someone who enjoys defending, but the coach encourages me to defend with more intensity.
“He tells me that the higher I win back the ball, the closer I am to scoring and the fewer runs back I have to make! It’s for the good of the team, so I’m trying to progress in that sense. And it shows, because we have Ligue 1’s best defense! It’s great for us to have a coach like him! “
Indeed, Galtier’s record speaks for itself, and Gouiri knows that he and the rest of his teammates are in good hands.
“Everywhere he has been he has won things,” Gouiri noted. “He took Lille into the Champions League by winning the title, so when he arrived we listened immediately! He’s been coaching in Ligue 1 for more than ten years so he knows the league inside out. He knows what he is talking about so we listen to his instructions and move forward! “
Gouiri, Galtier and Nice can take a big step towards getting back to the top three with a win over Saint-Etienne in their rescheduled Round 36 clash next Wednesday, but before then, there is the small matter of a Coupe de France final against Nantes on Saturday night …
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