After his performance in France’s 0-0 draw against Belarus earlier in the week, Olivier Giroud has come in for heavy criticism because of his miss after Antoine Griezmann’s sublime pass slipped him through on goal.
The criticism was not, of course, just based on that one performance. Not matter how many goals Giroud bangs in, he’s never more than 90 minutes away from being totally panned as a forward.
And those goals are not as few and far between as people would have you believe. Had any other striker missed the chance, that Griezmann set up, after scoring 11 goals in his previous 14 internationals, he would surely have not had to endure such abuse.
Then there is the fact that he has played just 12 minutes of competitive football this season prior to the international break after being rested because of his Euro involvement – a tournament where he scored three in six on perhaps the second biggest stage in world football. No allowances are made for this, either.
Giroud is painfully aware of the criticism that is levelled at him with such regularity that it’s hard not to see it as a vendetta by many looking to prove themselves, and their initial impressions of the forward, right.
No matter what he does, it’s never good enough.
Speaking on the back of this, Giroud knows that he cannot take his future in the France team for granted. “Who says I’ll still be here in 2018?” he asked. “For the Blues, I project myself [in the team] for the next six months.”
His comments as they stand there are easy to misinterpret.
He simply seems to mean that he is not expecting to be in the side beyond that time if he does not deserve to be.
In all, he’s far more reasonable about the whole thing than I’m sure many of his harshest critics would be if they were being so unfairly treated with such painful regularity.