Arsenal fans are being too hard on striker Olivier Giroud

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It's been a difficult few weeks for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.

The Frenchman was a part of the Gunners side that lost to West Ham on the opening day of the season, and has more recently been booed by France fans whilst on international duty against Serbia.

The troubled spell continued for the Frenchman on Wednesday night, though, after he was sent off in the first half during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in their opening match of the Champions League.


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Giroud had a night to forget even before his dismissal. He missed a great chance to put the Gunners ahead early on when he initially hit the post and then failed to score the point-blank rebound, and was needlessly booked for attitude given to the referee.

Come the 40th minute, his calamitous night was concluded when he committed a foul in his own half, albeit a soft one, and was duly shown red.

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Giroud may now want to stay away from social media for a while, with Arsenal fans coming out in force to express their frustration at the forward, insisting that his time at the Emirates is up.

However, the former Montpellier man was not the only one to blame for Arsenal's awful night in Zagreb, with many of those around him similarly accountable for their disappointing defeat.

The north London side were the dominant force throughout but impetus was often with Dinamo, who continually looked a threat on the counter-attack against a fragile Arsenal defence without midfield enforcer Francis Coquelin marshalling in front.

The Gunners' flimsy defending eventually proved dividends when poor marking resulted in an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal in the 24th minute, the youngster failing to track his man.

With Giroud then sent off, Arsenal had a mountain to climb, with matters worsened when Arsene Wenger's men were once again punished at the back, Junior Fernandes ghosting in at the near post from a corner to head his side into a 2-0 lead on the hour mark.

Substitute Theo Walcott clawed one back for his side with a tidy finish in the 79th minute - why he wasn't started is a mystery to most - but Dinamo held on for a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Gunners.

Despite the all-round underwhelming performance, Giroud took a lot of the brunt for the defeat which, given the showings from some of his team-mates, is perhaps a little harsh. Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Santi Cazorla were all poor and ineffective for Arsenal.

Giroud has proven his quality in an Arsenal shirt on many occasions - his size, strength and link-up play has been an effective outlet for the Gunners in recent years. Combined with his finishing ability and aerial prowess, Giroud is a difficult forward to live with for defenders, it's just consistency that is currently proving an issue.

Confidence is key to any player, though, and Gunners fans might want to focus more on getting behind their striker and backing him to do better rather than criticising him. There's no worse feeling than your own fans getting on your back.

Wenger will certainly be hoping for better from Giroud in the future and it's unlikely that his faith in his countryman will cease to exist anytime soon, which should ultimately pay off given that a striker of Giroud's talents is always likely to rediscover form.

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