I am sure that the Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud was just trying to diffuse the situation, perhaps with a typical Gallic shrug of the shoulders, but I am not so sure how well his words will be received by his Arsenal team mates, or by the manager for that matter.
Arsene Wenger has always condemned it when his players have been caught smoking cigarettes in public and claimed that as professional athletes it is not sensible and as role models they should know better. But the boss has also tried to play down the media furores that have surrounded the likes of Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny in recent years.
So the last thing the Frenchman would have wanted was for one of his own players to go and bring it all back into the open. But that is exactly what Giroud has done by telling the French media that there are a few Gunners that smoke and that there is nothing wrong with it, as revealed in a Metro report.
The centre forward said, “Everyone knows that there are a lot of players who smoke.
“In every team there are four or five. It doesn’t shock me. In rugby, they also smoke. And nobody is shocked.”
I appreciate his honesty but although he says that nobody is shocked by it, the subject is a favourite of the media and could leave Wenger having to defend himself and his players once again, while trying to hide a ‘smoking gun’ behind his back. Should Giroud have said nothing at all?
And if there are “four or five” smokers in every team, who are the other two (or three) at Arsenal?