Olivier Giroud says he doesn’t know why he’s the target of jeers when he plays for France, but insists he’s unfazed by the treatment of his countrymen.
The striker scored his fifth goal in six games for Les Bleus as they overcame Cameroon 3-2 on Monday and will likely start up when Didier Deschamps side take on Romania in the opening game of EURO 2016 next Friday.
Speaking to L’Équipe – an interview headlined ‘The Unloved’ – the 29-year-old reflected on the whistles aimed in his direction both before and during France’s latest friendly win and the state of his domestic form during the last campaign.
“Yes, I heard the boss,” said Giroud.
“I don’t know why they did it. I asked myself the question and I don’t have too many answers. It doesn’t stop my from sleeping. And I managed to score, anyway.
“Am I paying for the absence of Benzema? I think so, you can’t close your eyes to it. I spoke with [Andre-Pierre] Gignac and we know we’ll be targeted.”
“I’m preparing myself to be ready for 10 June against Romania. Whether I start or not, my goal is to be ready. In the coming days I’ll get an idea of whether or not I’m playing. You’ll say I’m just talking in clichés, but it’s true [I don’t know yet if I’ll play].”
Giroud was also asked about whether he was worried about missing the cut for the tournament given his form suffered as Arsenal’s title challenge wavered.
“You can never be 100% sure,” he responded [translated by Sport Witness]. “But given what I had accomplished in team of France, I think so. Even at Arsenal if it didn’t work out at the start of the year, a team is not a player.
Giroud ended the season as Arsenal’s top scorer and maintains that while he couldn’t maintain his pre-Christmas strike-rate, he still put in important shifts.
“Our problems were collective. I’ve been less efficient compared to the first half of the season, but it is same for all the players, either Ozil or another.
“We mostly talk about the striker because he leads the line. I didn’t play well in some matches, it’s true, but I was also present in very important matches, against Leicester [at home] for example.
“In the Champions League, we qualified from the group stages thanks to my hat-trick against Olympiacos.”