France national team manager Didier Deschamps believes that Olivier Giroud was unlucky to not score against Serbia and the amount of criticism he is getting from all corners is unwarranted. The Arsenal striker made way for Karim Benzema in the 64th minute and was booed by fans as he made his way out of the pitch.
The French rode on the back of a brace from Blaise Matuidi to win the friendly 2-0 against Serbia, having already secured their position in the group stages of the European Championships courtesy of them being the hosts. The Arsenal striker was not involved in the game against Portugal with the manager keeping faith in Karim Benzema to start proceedings, but the Real Madrid man flattered to deceive and was taken off in the 71st minute.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a £45m ($69m) move for Benzema this summer, but the Frenchman confirmed that he was not close to leaving the Santiago Bernabeu anytime this summer. Arsene Wenger's failure to sign a striker, coupled with Danny Welbeck's injury, which is likely to keep him out for a period of over six months, has tested the patience of fans who have turned on Giroud for his failure to put in more clinical performances on a regular basis.
"He [Giroud] also helped during the game," Deschamps said, when asked about his opinion on Giroud's failure to find the net, as quoted by Goal. "He got unlucky on a few chances because the goalkeeper made a great save and he got three clear opportunities.
"One was not on target, a header close from the goal-frame. Obviously if he had been more efficient the score would have been much higher. In his role he made a lot of effort. I always leave a lot of freedom to the three attacking players so he also had to counterbalance.
"Obviously he knows about his performance. He's the first to be sad about his lack of efficiency.
"But it happens sometimes. If it's not Olivier, it might be Karim Benzema. The performance of the entire team remains of a great level," Deschamps added.