LONDON (AFP) -Arsene Wenger admits losing Oliver Giroud once again is a body blow to Arsenal’s Champions League push.
Giroud is facing three games out after his red card in the 2-1 Boxing Day win against QPR.
The Frenchman was sent off for a headbutt on Nedum Onuoha and his lack of discipline will see him first sit out Sunday’s London derby at West Ham.
Having made a major impact since his return from ankle surgery that sidelined him for three months, Giroud’s absence is the last thing the Arsenal manager needs at this pivotal stage of the season.
“Olivier touched him (Onuoha) and he should not have done it,” said Wenger.
“He knows he made a mistake and I know him well enough to think that he will not do it again.
“He told me he was pushed in the back and projected against the ‘keeper. Maybe the injury he had played on his mind and he was scared to be injured again. Usually he is a guy in control of his response.
“You never need that – that’s for sure. In my job you have to deal with it with the strengths and sometimes the mistakes of people.”
Wenger might have celebrated his 400th Premier League win in charge of Arsenal but he won’t be raising a glass to Giroud.