Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud had a game to forget on Saturday as he found himself completely shut out during France’s 1-0 defeat to Albania.
The former Montpellier man had a wonderful campaign for the Gunners, scoring 14 Premier League goals and the last of his side’s four strikes during the 4-0 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa.
He complements Arsene Wenger’s side well, linking up with playmakers Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to great effect and spearheading the team in the lone striker role.
Yet, his style of play often leaves him vulnerable to criticism on the international stage and France’s latest disappointing performance in Albania arguably damaged Giroud’s frail reputation further.
14 - Hugo Lloris (14) made more touches than Olivier Giroud (13) in the first-half. Inverted.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 13, 2015
Les Blues crashed to a 1-0 defeat, but the most disappointing stat from a woeful first-half showed that Tottenham Hotspur custodian Hugo Lloris actually had more touches than his North London rival.
Giroud’s evening was done there as he made way for Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir, with French boss Didier Deschamps opting for a change in system for the second period.
Spurs’ number one, in contrast, played the entire 90 minutes and was one of only a few who could come out of the encounter with their heads held high, such was France’s disappointing showing.
The two-time European champions host the tournament next summer and are among the favourites to lift the trophy, though on the basis of Saturday’s display some may find that quite hard to believe.