'When Karim Benzema laughs, Olivier Giroud pulls a face'

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud may prefer not to look at headlines in his native France while there on international week.

Newcastle striker Loic Remy won a recall to the French international squad last month, and his good form for the club is not going unnoticed by the media in his country.

Remy has a prolific record so far this season of seven goals in nine games in the Premier League this season, which compares favourably with Arsenal forward Oliver Giroud's five in 11 for Arsenal.

Despite a tricky start to the season in La Liga for Karim Benzema, he has also bagged more league goals with six in 12.

The change in fortunes, and focus on the international hopefuls is the focus of attention in France, with a crucial World Cup play-off against Ukraine imminent.

Here is what French newspaper L'Equipe has had to say about the three of them, in their article entitled 'Advantage Benzema':

Loic Remy:

"Loic Remy never stops. On Saturday against Tottenham  he scored his seventh goal in nine games, a superb curler - striking to give the victory to his team... A few minutes before, Yohan Cabaye had also passed him the ball, but Vlad Chiriches had made ​​the perfect tackle last second to prevent Loic Remy scoring."

Karim Benzema:

"A goal, an assist and a standing ovation from Santiago Bernabeu: No doubt, Karim Benzema had a nice weekend. And no doubt, it sent a strong signal to a week before the matches against Ukraine, with the player making the bench in the last three matches of Les Bleus."

Olivier Giroud:

"And when Karim Benzema laughs, Olivier Giroud, he pulls a face. The current preferred attacker Didier Deschamps undoubtedly delivered one of his poorer performance of the season against Manchester United on Sunday. Visibly tired, the former Montpellier man never carried the danger in front of goal. In the second period, even Bacary Sagna was the more dangerous with two crosses into the area... In his defense, the Bleus striker, was used extensively in the Champions League and Premier League, with no proven understudy... Hence his small total of four goals in his last twelve games."

The observation is that frustratingly for France, they do not seem to ever have both Giroud and Benzema firing at the same time. When he became Deschamps preferred option, Benzema was going through a terrible goalless run and he was in peak form. 

Now Benzema is on form, Giroud throws a curveball into the mix by nature of his heavy schedule at Arsenal causing him to look off the pace. The French are concerned, and Loic Remy's return to form only complicates matters.

They have a big decision to make for the decisive qualifiers, and getting it right or wrong could be the difference between going to Brazil next summer or not.

image: © wonker

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