Deschamps questions commitment of ex-Chelsea star and France legend after Netherlands strop

Will Ford
Deschamps Giroud France
Didier Deschamps has 'questioned the commitment' of Olivier Giroud.

Didier Deschamps has ‘privately questioned the commitment and fitness’ of France striker Olivier Giroud, who has been limited to brief substitute appearance thus far at Euro 2024.

France were among the favourites heading into the tournament but disappointed in the group stage, with a narrow 1-0 win over Austria followed by draws against the Netherlands and Poland to leave them second behind Austria in Group D.

That means Les Bleus face a tricky test against Belgium in the last 16 and are in the much more difficult side of the draw.

Deschamps ‘questions commitment’

AC Milan striker Giroud is the all-time leading goalscorer for France, finding the net on 57 occasions in 136 games for his country but has been handed limited game time by Deschamps in Germany.

It’s no great surprise that the 37-year-old didn’t start the tournament, but eyebrows were raised when he didn’t come in for the injured Kylian Mbappe against the Netherlands.

L’Equipe claim the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker ‘reacted badly’ to not being selected against the Dutch, while the report states that ‘Deschamps has privately expressed reservations about whether the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker has the necessary fitness or commitment to play a big role for France this tournament’.

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Giroud’s ‘additional fitness regime’

To Giroud’s credit he did ‘not air his grievances in front of the rest of the team’ and is also said to have ‘taken on an additional fitness regime as he looks to force his way into the manager’s starting lineup’.

France take on Belgium in Dusseldorf on Monday and Deschamps insists his side will grow into the tournament after an unimpressive group stage.

“It is a new competition that is starting. You cannot always read a competition just from the group stage. We deserve to be second, I am satisfied,” he said after their draw against Poland.

“Now it [the competition] is going to be a little bit more down to the wire; now we’ve only got the big teams but that is the name of the game.

“I would be a lot more concerned if we were not creating chances but obviously there is room for improvement.

“It is a new competition that is starting for us and it will start on 1 July.”