Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud’s career is a showreel of coming back from adversity and shutting down the doubters. In typical fashion, The World Cup winner delivered yet another defiant performance for Chelsea away to Sevilla in the Champions League.

Giroud missed a gilt-edged opportunity that could have won the game against Spurs, but responded with four goals including a perfect hat-trick when given his second start of the season at Sevilla. 

Giroud scored all four goals in the 4-0 win – on his 50th start for the club – to confirm Chelsea as group winners and deservedly gain all the plaudits for another vintage performance. 

Only last month, the French manager and Giroud’s entourage had raised concerns over his lack of playing minutes ahead of the postponed Euro 2020.

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“It’s worrying. I thought I still had a role to play at Chelsea but my playing time is getting reduced a lot. It’s going to have to change or a decision must be made,” Giroud told Telefoot. “I am clear-headed about my situation: I will have to make a decision in January. I hope to make the right one, as I have always done.”

For Frank Lampard, it was a case of waiting for his opportunity. “He will always want to play more. He is a huge member of the squad for me and I know he’ll be important for us going forward so I want Oli to be here and to stay because of the way he is playing.

“I have a very good relationship with Oli and if ever he felt that it was going to go a different way, I would happily have that conversation with him but I want him to stay here and we will be very open both ways if that ever changed but at the minute he is very important to me.”

The 34-year-old has been making the most of every minute since, confirming Chelsea’s place in the knockouts with a brilliant late winner at Rennes, before stamping his latest revival at The Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. 

Giroud was a thorn in Sevilla’s side with his dangerous movement as he was determined to get on the scoresheet. He opened the scoring with a neat finish from a Havertz pass before chipping the keeper with his right foot then sealing the treble with a fantastic header.

The striker took his goals well as his perfect hat trick was topped up with a penalty to complete his four-goal haul. Giroud must surely get the nod against Leeds, where fans are set to return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since March. 

Key Team Improvement

The Frenchman dominated the defenders in an expert way that Tammy Abraham doesn’t. Adding to the fierce but respectful competition for the central striking position which the veteran is surely ahead of right now. 

Olivier Giroud
Giroud is the model team player. (Getty Images)

Pertinently, his presence would improve his teammates’ game as one of his strongest qualities is bringing others into play. Hakim Ziyech will have a considerable target man as well as Ben Chilwell and Reece James in particular. 

The England right-back is responsible for the most crosses into the penalty area (12) and boasts 2.25 shot-creation actions per 90 minutes but has only two assists in all competitions. Giroud would improve the 20-year-old’s numbers having won 50% of his aerial duels from only 273 minutes in all competitions.

James is Chelsea’s most persistent crosser and these qualities have proven important to Chelsea’s new-found width from the fullback positions. It was notable that James produced two inviting deliveries in the second half of the stalemate against Tottenham which were both terribly missed by Abraham.

Giroud, on the contrary, thrives upon such service.

The ex-Arsenal striker’s inclusion might be crucial in weaponizing one of Chelsea’s biggest threats during the ruthless turnaround of festive football, to enable them to convert more points. 

Giroud is now the oldest UCL hat-trick goal scorer and scored his second perfect treble in Europe having also done so in the Europa League.

At 34, he might be a late bloomer but is in his peak right now. Giroud is proving once again under Frank Lampard that He is The Man.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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