Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: Olivier Giroud is not a tackler

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud is not a tackler following his red card during Arsenal's 1-0 win over Fulham

olivier giroud
Olivier Giroud (right) has scored 11 league goals in 32 games this term Photo: Olivier Giroud/Facebook

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is “not a tackler” after the French striker was sent off in a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The former Montpellier striker was issued with his marching orders late in the second half for a dangerous challenge Stanislav Manolev, with replays showing Giroud had made contact with the ball before the Cottagers midfielder.

Per Mertesacker scored what proved to be a first-half winner after Steve Sidwell was issued with a straight red for a sliding tackle on Mikel Arteta in the 12th minute.

And Wenger revealed Giroud claimed he had slipped as he attempted to control the ball, while the Gunners boss backed referee Andre Marriner’s decision to send off Sidwell.

“I spoke with Giroud. He said to me that he slipped at the moment he went for the ball and it’s confirmed by the television,” said Wenger.

“I haven’t seen it but he’s not a tackler. He went over the ball and knowing that Sidwell had been sent off before, I had no illusion of the colour of the card.

“Sidwell’s challenge was in front of me. I’ve seen that better. I think the referee had only the red card to give.”

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