Arsene Wenger feels Olivier Giroud ‘deserved’ his red card against Queens Park Ranger’s on Friday evening and insists he will learn from his moment of madness.
The France international was shoved into the onrushing goalkeeper by Nedum Onouha while through on goal, and after his recent long injury spell it pushed Giroud over the edge and the striker aimed a pointless headbutt at the QPR defender. Although there was minimal contact, the sending off was inevitable.
Giroud has apologised for the incident after putting his teams 1-0 lead in jeopardy, however Tomas Rosicky doubled the lead and Arsenal held on to win 2-1. But that does not excuse the recklessness of the incident as the Gunners faced a barrage of late attacks.
Wenger was asked several questions on the matter, the first of which was whether he thought it was indeed a red card incident.
He told reporters:
It was a deserved red card. Madness is a strong word but he didn’t kill him, he touched him and should not have done it. He should have been in control. Olivier Giroud knows he made a mistake and I know him well enough to think that he will not do it again.
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[on Giroud’s reaction] I don’t know. He told me he was pushed in the back and that projected him into the keeper. Maybe because the injury he had still plays a part on his mind and it’s unusual for him. Usually he’s a guy who’s in control of his response.
[on losing Giroud for three games] Honestly, you never need that. In my job you sometimes have to deal with the strengths and sometimes the mistakes of people.
The Emirates crowd offered Giroud a very hostile reception as he left the field last night, many sharing the frustration of the Frenchman’s stupidity. Not just for the impact on the game but for the consequent suspension.
Although Onouha’s fall was pathetic and Giroud may have had his reasons for losing his head, it does not excuse the fact that we are missing our best centre forward for a crucial set of fixtures at the busiest time of the season. Absolutely livid.