Harry Redknapp defends Olivier Giroud but admits he is not as good as Harry Kane

France's Olivier Giroud

The former Tottenham Hotspur manager believes Arsenal man Giroud gets unfair criticism but admits he is not the same calibre as Spurs star Kane.

Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring the second goal for Arsenal

Harry Redknapp has suggested that Arsenal and France striker Olivier Giroud gets unfair criticism, writing in the London Evening Standard that he is underappreciated by Gunners and French supporters.

Giroud has scored three goals in four Euro 2016 appearances so far for his country to help power them to the semi-finals, where they will take on Germany on Thursday evening.

That form follows his most lethal season in English football, in which he scored 24 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions to take his total record to 82 in 187 games across four years at the Emirates Stadium.

However, the 29-year-old was the subject of much criticism in the latter half of the campaign as he went almost four months without finding the net in the Premier League between mid-January and early May.

Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring the third goal for Arsenal and completing his hat trick

He has also been on the receiving end of some hostile treatment from French fans, who appear to have used the striker as a scapegoat for Karim Benzema's exclusion from the squad, although that has lessened noticeably in recent weeks.

Redknapp believes that Giroud does not deserve the negativity that surrounds him, and although he claimed that the Frenchman is not of the same quality as Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane he insisted that he is more than capable of leading the line for club and country.

The former Spurs boss wrote in the Standard: "Giroud would not be playing for France if Karim Benzema hadn’t been left out for off-field reasons but maybe he is a bit underappreciated. He’s a good player and although there have been better forwards available in the past, they just don’t exist at the moment.

Tottenham's Harry Kane applauds their fans after the match

"Giroud isn’t as good as Harry Kane but he leads the line well and has obviously dealt with the pressure better in this tournament.

"Against Ireland, he got across the line brilliantly to head the ball for Antoine Griezmann to score the winner. The other night against Iceland, he took his goals really well."

Giroud will have a chance to reaffirm his quality tonight against the toughest of opposition as France take on the world champions Germany for a place against Portugal in this weekend's final.

France's Olivier Giroud celebrates after the game

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