Olivier Giroud is finding it hard to get used to being on the substitute’s bench, and yet again on Thursday he was overlooked by France in favour of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. The score was already 4-0 when Benzema suffered a thigh strain so Giroud finally got on the pitch for the last ten minutes, something he is getting used to at Arsenal as well.
The France team face Denmark on Sunday and Ollie may get a rare start if Benzema remains on the sidelines, and from Arsenal’s pont of view it would be good for him to get a full 90 minutes under his belt, but more importantly he needs to try and remember how to score. The 28 year-old has admitted that he is not used to being a backup, but he recognises the fact that Theo Walcott is in better form at the moment, and of course for France Benzema scored twice before his injury, so both players are going to be hard to displace at the moment.
Giroud explained how he felt after the Armenia game: “It is something new for me. Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. I cannot simply take refuge in work. At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo (Walcott) for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change. I was in his place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”
“It has been for several matches now that I have played less, that is for sure, but I do not need to be worried. I need a bit more game time but also to believe more in my abilities.”
He could well play for France on Tuesday, and if he plays well enough to convince Arsene Wenger he is back to his best, then Le Prof may well start him next weekend against Watford to save Theo for the crucial Bayern Munich game.
Who thinks that he needs to play more often to keep match-fit, just in case Theo gets another injury?