Olivier Giroud set out to win the starter’s job at Chelsea this season, and after his two-assist all-action performance against Cardiff City, he will have surely taken a giant step forward in that regard.
However, for now, Sarri considers both Giroud and Morata his first-choice strikers and will be looking to use them smartly, based on the characteristics of the opposition.
“In the last two weeks I have seen four matches of Cardiff and four matches of PAOK Salonika and for me, yesterday I thought Giroud was more suitable for this match and Morata more suitable for the other. I don’t know now who will be the striker of the future.
”I think both, because we have to play 60 matches. For characteristics they are different, it depends on the kind of match. Today [Giroud] played very well without scoring, but very useful for his team-mates I think.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Goal
And that does make sense, though one would image we’ll face a lot more teams with the characteristics of Cardiff — big, strong, organized, defensive — than PAOK — presumably smaller and more attacking, especially at home buoyed by the raucous crowd. Rotation will be the order of the day for the foreseeable future, and if Sarri can do so smartly, by making appropriate and reasonable changes based on both tactical and fitness concerns (such as rotating out Hazard or Pedro midweek as well), then we should be able to handle it with flying colors.
And hopefully, by playing in situations more suited to each of them, both Giroud and Morata can (continue to) make positive contributions this season.