Arsene Wenger has revealed Olivier Giroud simply was not fit enough to play well against Monaco.
Olivier Giroud put in a disappointing performance for Arsenal against Monaco, one which saw him take a barrage of criticism on social media.
Yet Arsene Wenger has given an explanation for his failure to make an impact in the 1-0 defeat, admitting he simply was not fit enough.
He told Arsenal.com: "Giroud is not ready at all so I thought I’d take him out because he didn’t look ready.
"He had only three weeks rest, it was not an eternity and he had to come back quickly. But sometimes when you come back late you want to work hard and in a game you are not as sharp.
"It’s nothing about him. He’s not put weight on, he’s not out of shape, he’s worked very hard this week and not recovered from the work he has done."
The Frenchman went onto add that having to withdraw Giroud so early, gave him a chance to check out Alexis Sanchez as a striker: "It was an opportunity for me as well to see Sanchez in the second half as a centre forward. He looked better in the second half than in the first."
Wenger said that Giroud is now unlikely to starts in next week's Community Shield against Manchester City, but that also gives fans another chance to see the stars of Saturday's win over Benfica another chance to shine.
With Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo full of confidence, the Gunners may have some real competition for the striker spot next season, and if that causes Giroud to up his game and kick on, that will be no bad thing.
What did you make of Giroud's display against Monaco?