We fans of Arsenal have been guilty of this ourselves, with a large number still getting on the back of our centre forward Olivier Giroud at any opportunity. So we should not have been surprised to see a lot of blame aimed at the big man after a couple of below par performances saw the France national side lose back to back games for the first time since 2013.
Although the Arsenal striker did not have good games on a personal level, I think it is a bit harsh to blame him for the two defeats. For one thing, the two games were a bit meaningless and Giroud had gone off the boil a bit at the very end of the club season.
And for another, there is the report in The Mirror that points to Giroud’s stat of touching the ball just 13 times in the first half against Albania on Saturday, gleefully informing us that their keeper Lloris touched the ball more. That may say that Giroud struggled to influence the game but it does not say a lot for the players supposed to getting the ball to the main striker.
France did no better in the second half without Giroud and there is one more reason for us to go easy on the big guy. A Daily Star report a few days ago suggested that Giroud would miss the game after picking up an injury in training and limping out of the training ground on crutches. So why did Deschamps start him a day or two later?
After Giroud had his season nearly ruined with an injury, are you really surprised that he was a bit cautious against Albania? Don’t worry Arsenal fans, he will be back on form for Arsenal for the start of the new season.