Arsene Wenger has backed Olivier Giroud to come good this season despite the Arsenal striker missing the last few games with a toe injury. The Frenchman returned late after the international break following his participation in the Euros and is expected to be out for the next two weeks.
However, the manager has full faith that the 30-year-old has a major part to play this season despite being on the sidelines and is confident that criticism from fans for country and club does not affect his confidence. Giroud's selection for France was heavily criticised by fans before the 2016 European Championships, but he won them over with a brilliant performance, leading them to the finals, where they lost to Portugal.
"I am an admirer of Giroud because he has gone through some tough times and he bounces back," Wenger said, as quoted by the Guardian. "When his back is to the wall, he has an answer every time. When I go into a big game, you always think: 'I can rely on him.' You know that when the competition starts, he will be with you."
"Before the competition, the supporters didn't want him. But he turned them around. That's one of the strengths of Olivier. He is mentally very strong. The criticism does knock him. He's not made of metal. He's sensitive but sensitive and strong. Everybody wants to be loved. I've never seen anyone who dreams to be hated. But it is dealing with the fact that it doesn't always go your way that makes a man," he added.
Aaron Ramsey is another player who will miss the next few games after suffering a hamstring injury in their opening game against Liverpool. The Welshman had a productive Euro 2016 campaign, leading Wales to the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champions Portugal. Wenger wants to give the 25-year-old a full pre-season before bringing him back into the mix to avoid any further setbacks.