Olivier Giroud was jeered and booed during France’s 3-2 win over Cameroon on Monday night, but after scoring a pretty fantastic goal the Arsenal forward insists he doesn’t understand the fans’ reasoning.
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Giroud is regularly targeted by the fans for both club and country, with things getting worse for the 29-year-old recently. For Arsenal it’s easy to see why he’s taken so much flak, as his form at times has been dire. That’s not to say that fans of any club should boo their own players, but with the nature of modern football you can see why Giroud gets a little bit of stick.
For France however, he has a decent goals record, and it’s difficult to see how the fans can justify their actions.
“It’s a shame,” Giroud told France Football.
“Playing for France, even when you miss a chance, you’re expecting applause and encouragement. They’re also there for that. I don’t understand it too much but it won’t stop me from sleeping.”
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It seems Giroud’s only crime is that he’s not Karim Benzema, which there’s really not much he can do to change. The France fans are furious that Benzema has been dropped from the squad for the Euro 2016 Championships, and that Giroud has taken his place. It’s obviously not the target-man’s fault though, as Benzema’s omission is due to his off-the-field issues with Mathieu Valbuena (via the Metro).
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The fan criticism comparing Giroud to Benzema is a little unfair too, as while it’s hard to deny that the Real Madrid star is the better striker, their records for France are incredibly similar. Giroud has managed a pretty average 15 goals in 48 appearances for France, nothing to shout about but not too bad either. After 48 appearances Benzema also had 15 goals however, showing that Giroud really isn’t that bad.