Arsene Wenger has backed Olivier Giroud, despite the striker being pushed out of the Arsenal team in favour of Alexis Sanchez.
Giroud will miss Saturday’s game against Swansea through injury, but has been left on the bench by Wenger even when fit.
However, Wenger has defended his striker, claiming that he can still rely on Giroud in the big games and expressing his admiration for the Frenchman.
“I am an admirer of Giroud because he has gone through some tough times and he bounces back,” Wenger said.
“When his back is to the wall, he has an answer every time. When I go into a big game, you always think: ‘I can rely on him.’
“You know that when the competition starts, he will be with you.
“Before the competition [Euro 2016], the supporters didn’t want him. But he turned them around. That’s one of the strengths of Olivier. He is mentally very strong.
“The criticism does knock him. He’s not made of metal. He’s sensitive but sensitive and strong. Everybody wants to be loved.
“I’ve never seen anyone who dreams to be hated. But it is dealing with the fact that it doesn’t always go your way that makes a man.”