Giroud red card harsh, says Arsenal boss Wenger

The Gunners' boss initially had few complaints about the France international's dismissal, but after watching the replay he believes it was "a very minor incident"
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Olivier Giroud's dismissal against Fulham was "a harsh decision", despite initially stating he had no complaints over the red card.

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Giroud was sent off late in the match for a challenge on Cottagers right-back Stanislav Manolev, but after watching the replay back, he now feels that it did not deserve a red card.

However, the Gunners' appeal was rejected by the FA, forcing Giroud to serve the full suspension, but Wenger insists his side will move on without the French international.

"It is a blow that we cannot have him available," Wenger told the club's official website. "We will have to do without him and we will do it.

"It's a harsh decision. After the game, I was a little bit less convinced that he didn't deserve the red card but having seen it again, I feel it's completely accidental and a very minor incident.

"That's why I decided to appeal. I'm sad that it didn't work but we have to cope with it. You weigh up [the possibility of him missing another game when appealing] but honestly nobody could accuse you of a frivolous appeal when you see what happened again.

"I thought 'frivolous appeal, no – but will they overturn the red card?' For me that was 50-50. But we were never in doubt of it being [seen as] a frivolous appeal."

Giroud himself echoed the comments on Wednesday on social networking site Twitter, adding: "Decision tres tres dure... Very severe decision..."