Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has lept to the defence of Laurent Koscielny, after the Gunners captain refused to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.
The defender has angered the club and many fans, with Arsenal even putting out a statement on the matter, which read: “We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.
“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
It is thought that Koscielny is trying to force an exit, with Rennes, Lyon and Bordeaux all apparently interested.
Many Gunners supporters were dismayed to learn of their club captain’s actions, but ex-Emirates ace Giroud has defended his compatriot and ‘good friend’.
He said (The Sun): “I feel very sad for him because he’s a great person and the media wants to give a bad image of him.
“I’m not at the club, I don’t know what really happened – but one thing for sure is Lolo is very hurt by what’s happening and he’s an emotional person.
“He’s been playing for Arsenal for nine years; he’s been the skipper for so many years – very respectful, very professional, always the best example for the young players.”
Certainly the public do not know all the facts about the situation, but the club issuing an official statement was very telling.
Fans are unlikely to agree with Giroud, who is no longer the most popular figure in their eyes after a move to Chelsea.
He may know him well, but it is hard for fans to have an open mind about the situation given how it looks on the surface.
At the end of the day, exemplary behaviour is expected of Koscielny being the club’s captain, and to refuse to travel seems a shocking show of disrespect.