How Giroud proved his worth and why Chelsea need him for the season run in


Chelsea outclassed Tottenham in Saturday’s London Derby victory at Stamford Bridge, but the striking difference (pardon the pun) between the two sides was the cutting edge they possessed in attack.

Both sides were missing their top scorers. Harry Kane out with a thigh injury and Tammy Abraham was only considered fit enough for the bench. Whilst Spurs were toothless without their main man, Olivier Giroud filled in for Abraham for the home side.

Giroud is a player who has been left out in the cold by manager Frank Lampard for much of the season; Saturday marked his first Premier League start since November 30th. However, the Frenchman’s all round performance as well as his deadly finish were enough to make this look a questionable call.

Yes, Giroud’s goal was a rebound but his initial strike was only prevented from hitting the back of the net by a superb Hugo Lloris save. It was Ross Barkley who the first rebound fell to and when he half volleyed against the post, the ball once again fell to Giroud. His first touch to both control the ball and get it out of his feet so he could hit it, was judged to aplomb. It was as natural, instinctive touch as you’ll find. It would have been easy for him to rush the shot but by executing this piece of control perfectly it gave him time to steady himself, get over the ball and drill it arrow like in at the near post. You can’t teach that sort of goal scoring. 

Given his finishing instincts, it is no surprise then that Giroud boasts an impressive goal scoring record throughout his career. For France his ratio is roughly one goal every two and a half games; with 97 caps to his name that is no mean feat! It was a similar story at Arsenal too, where he scored 73 times in 180 league appearances in six years. At Montpellier, it was very nearly one in two and at Tours it was slightly better than one in two. His lacklustre record at Chelsea, particularly in the Premier League, comes down to a lack of opportunities to establish himself as a regular in the side. Two thirds of his Chelsea league appearances have come as a substitute, hardly a good chance for him to make goal scoring a habit. However, in the FA Cup and Europa League where he has been given more chances to start, he has been a lot more clinical. 

However, Giroud contributes much more than goals to a side and this helped earn him the man of the match accolade against Tottenham. His ability to hold up the ball and link the play was incredibly effective, as were his runs that caused the Spurs backline headaches for the entire match. One example of this was in the build up to the second goal. It was Giroud who offered himself short for a throw in and then deftly flicked it on with his head, right into the path of Mason Mount who broke into the box, passed the ball to Ross Barkley who then teed up Alonso to drive the ball into the net. It was this quick thinking from Giroud that bought Mount half a yard and allowed him to run to the edge of the penalty box.

It’s simple then, especially with Abraham still not one hundred per cent fit, Giroud needs to be a starter in the final league games of this season. Whatever issues Lampard has had with Giroud that has seen him persistently overlook him, he needs to put them to the back of his mind and give Giroud the opportunity to prove him wrong. Chelsea are now in pole position to secure fourth place and the only way they’re going to hold on to it is by having a good winning record in their final 11 fixtures. With their defence at times being a little bit suspect they need to not be afraid to outscore teams in high scoring matches. Who better to lead that sort of assault than the natural born goalscorer in their squad, Mr Giroud?


About Author

Comments are closed.