Deschamps says the Gunners frontman missed out because of tactics not poor form.
France head coach Didier Deschamps has insisted that his decision to omit Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud from his starting XI for Friday’s FIFA World Cup quarter-final defeat to Germany was purely tactical.
Giroud, who was Arsenal’s leading scorer last season with 16 Premier League goals, started France’s 5-2 win over Switzerland during the group stage, netting once and providing an assist.
After starting the 0-0 draw with Ecuador on the bench, he returned to the first XI for Les Bleus’ 2-0 win over in Nigeria in the last 16.
Giroud was hauled off after 62 minutes in the Nigeria game with the scores level at 0-0.
Deschamps then decided to name him as a sub for the Germany clash, with many spectators reading the situation as the 27-year-old being dropped having under-performed in his last start.
However, Deschamps says that Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann was preferred to Giroud because of his superior pace.
“Why did I play Griezmann rather than Giroud? I made that choice because it was important to put speed [into the team],” Sky Sports quote Deschamps as telling L’Equipe.
“I expected to see Philipp Lahm on the right flank of defence, so we needed to defend well on that side too.
“Antoine did well in the second half.”
Giround eventually joined the action in the 85th minute, but he only managed to touch the ball four times.
Griezmann played the whole game and had 42 touches. He completed two successful dribbles and won three free-kicks, but he only found the target with 59 per cent of his 22 passes.
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