You have probably read about Karim Benzema, so it should come as no surprise that he isn’t in the French national squad for the current international break.
Step forward Olivier Giroud.
Often criticised and far too under appreciated, Giroud has been excellent for Arsenal so far this season, scoring a goal every 94.4 minutes in 15 Premier League and Champions League appearances. His hold up play has remained very good, most obvious in the 2-1 defeat of Everton, and he continues to work tirelessly.
By the time the last international break came around, Giroud was clearly second choice to Theo Walcott at Arsenal and Karim Benzema for France. Two goals in a start against Denmark was followed by five goals in seven Arsenal appearances, and Giroud may have turned a corner.
Joined in the squad by unconventional strikers Antoine Griezmann and Anthony Martial, and André-Pierre Gignac currently plying his trade in Mexico, Giroud will be handed a great opportunity to impress.
Over the course of the next week, France face Germany and England. The German national team have kept just four clean sheets in 14 games since winning the World Cup in the summer of 2014. Three of those came against Gibraltar (twice) and Georgia. England have looked strong in qualifying for Euro 2016 but frequently struggle against the bigger nations.
Formidable opponents but with significant weaknesses, Giroud has a great chance of impressing against either of France’s opponents over the course of the next week.
After missing a number of half-chances against Spurs at the weekend, Giroud was roundly criticised. Every time he misses an ok opportunity the pitchforks are out, but things have been going incredibly well for him so far this season. With Karim Benzema out of the squad, let’s hope he stakes his claim to be first choice as France host the European Championships in the summer.
He has all the ability, people just need to have more patience with him.