Football

Olivier Giroud subbed after horror performance for France against Albania

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Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud was hauled off at half-time in France's shock 1-0 defeat against Albania after touching the ball just 13 times.

The Frenchman has been criticised by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in the past for not being up to the job of leading the line for the Gunners - and now he is likely to face a similar reaction from fans after his latest performance.

Midfielder Ergys Kace gave Albania the lead in the first half with a fine free-kick, and France were unable to respond meaning they have now lost three of their last four games under boss Didier Deschamps.

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However it is Giroud who will be the focus of attention thanks to his lack of time on the ball. The Arsenal man's 13 touches meant he saw less action than France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who touched the ball 14 times in the defeat.

Deschamps was less than impressed with his team's effort on the back of a 4-3 defeat against Belgium. We were lacking in commitment,' a despondent Deschamps added on French television.

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With Belgium we had an opponent that was superior and played a great game," the former midfielder said. "It was down to their level.

"Against Albania, there was an opponent with more determination. I am particularly annoyed and disappointed because I'm responsible. I choose the players, the systems. I'll take time to analyse the game but this is not a period that is very favourable to us.

Signings

Giroud's form won't be of much concern for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for now, although the French boss is reportedly already in the market for a new forward. 

One player who won't be on his way to the Emirates Stadium is Jackson Martinez - the Porto striker is close to joining AC Milan in a deal worth €35 million having been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Have Arsenal missed a trick by not signing Jackson Martinez?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
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