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Leave Olivier Giroud Alone

I'm f**king bored of the current treatment Olivier Giroud is receiving from a number of Arsenal fans. For all their talk of him not being "good enough for Arsenal", their own behaviour is embarassing for a fan of the club as well.

I have absolutely no issue with people criticising the Frenchman. He's a fairly limited player, and should likely be replaced in the summer as first-choice. He's also a very hard worker, and his skillset, when utilised correctly, can bring the best out of our array of goalscoring options elsewhere. This is all well documented. He's currently suffering due to a mixture of tiredness, due to a lack of reliable backups (something I'm loathe to say could have been remedied in January, looking at the players who moved) in the squad. I personally feel Nicklas Bendtner could be used more, he's unfairly maligned, but I'm not Arsene. 

So yes, constructive criticism is fine. Defending everything he does is similarly irritating, especially if his looks are used as a reason. However, a number of people seem to use this against him, spouting bollocks like "People only rate him because he's attractive". Every poor performance or demonstration of his clearly-established flaws (finishing, pace, etc) is met with a storm of abuse. In the Manchester United draw on Wednesday night, I saw him labelled "Donkey" "Twat" and various other abuses. He is not a bad human being because he doesn't score a lot, and lacks pace in behind. He doesn't do it to annoy you, personally. It's just him playing football. He bleeds for the team. He runs his arse off every game (though according to these revisionists he actually does no such thing), and even when it isn't coming off for him, he never hides. But this isn't good enough for some. Unless he somehow transforms into Edinson Cavani, he is not worthy of any form of respect. Any goals he scores are simply delaying the next declaration that they are "done with Giroud". I understand people's frustrations totally. He annoys me too. But I accept he's a limited player doing his best for the team, instead of some kind of saboteur. 

The current "revelations" that Giroud has been cheating on his wife (allegedly) have added to my irritation. I've seen tweets reading "I'd be impressed if it weren't Giroud, the twat's sleeping with prostitutes on a match day". Implying perhaps that if another player, more beloved to them had done similar, they'd be praised for their "Top lad" behaviour. Which is a whole other kettle of misogynistic fish. Double standards apparently operate, depending on how impressive your performances are. He's even been criticised for taking selfies. Like many many 27-year-old image-conscious guys, let alone the majority of footballers. Frustration with his performances and the team has spilled into ad hominem bile.

So yeah. Just give him a break. He's not the greatest striker Arsenal have ever had. He could do more to improve his goalscoring. But he isn't the Devil. He's not even Mephistopheles. He's Olivier Giroud. Cheer up. 

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