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Wenger offers thoughts on under-fire Arsenal star after horror show
Arsene Wenger has backed Olivier Giroud and says he was unlucky to be sent off during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last night.
Giroud had already missed a sitter early in the game when the score was still at 0-0 before picking up a needless booking for talking back to the referee when a minor decision went against him.
The Frenchman is known for his histrionics on the pitch and many fans predicted on Twitter during the game last night that the striker was going to be sent off as he seemed in a particularly petulant mood.
Those fears were realised when Giroud was dismissed just before half time after catching one of the Zagreb players as he went for a loose ball in the middle of the pitch.
A goal down and now a man down, we had a mountain to climb and ended up losing the game 2-1. Obviously Arsenal fans have been targetting Giroud for criticism, and it’s easy to see why as both bookings were avoidable.
However, Wenger has come to the defence of his striker, saying the second booking was unfortunate and he can’t understand why the referee brandished another yellow for an accidental foul.
The boss told Arsenal.com:
on Olivier Giroud’s sending off…
The first yellow card was Giroud’s fault because he protested, even if there was no foul against him. After that he should have not protested to the referee. His second yellow card was completely unlucky to touch the guy. I do not understand the referee.
on whether Giroud should have been more careful…
I don’t think he saw the guy. It was completely accidental. It happened and I think at that moment it was not a second yellow. It has to be a foul on purpose and it was not on purpose. The referee should have given several yellows tonight based on that.
I do feel a little sorry for Giroud as it was a very soft way to be sent off and the referee didn’t cover himself in glory either. A simple warning would have sufficed for the foul.
So the second was certainly a little unfortunate but equally Giroud was stupid to even swing his leg knowing he was on a yellow card. Why did he even give the ref a decision to make?
The striker was already low on confidence before last night so I imagine he’ll be feeling a lot worse today but it’s important the boss can pick him up quickly as we’ve got a huge game at Chelsea on Saturday.