When Olivier Giroud arrived at Chelsea from Arsenal in January 2018, expectations were that he would be a backup to Álvaro Morata, who at the time was still seen as the striker of our future. His intentions — and as it turns out, Morata’s as well — were different.
He has fought tooth and nail, first with Morata, and now with Gonzalo Higuaín, for a claim as a regular starter on Maurizio Sarri’s team sheets. Against second-tier competition, he has played in a manner so dominant at times that it surely warrants more chances against our more difficult opponents at the Premier League level. And yet, he has only gotten a handful of weekend starts.
A good man can only take so much. After being stuck in a similar situation at Arsenal, Giroud's patience is running out, alongside his contract.
“Trust me, I’m very frustrated when I’m not on the pitch, but I just don’t want to show it. When you are a competitor, when you’ve been through difficulties all through your career, you need to keep that frustration inside you and transform it into positive energy on the pitch.”
“Trust me, though, I’m not happy to play the second role. That’s why I said, next year, I will need to have a more important role to play in the team.”
Giroud has been quite vocal about his desire for more playing time next season. Even if Chelsea were to offer him an extension, he would need reassurances that more inferior options wouldn't be picked ahead of him.
“I don’t know [if I’ll stay]. I have no clue about that now. I have to meet Marina.”
“But obviously I’m happy to be here. The thing is I just want to enjoy.”
“It’s not because I’m 32 and I’ve won the World Cup, because I don’t want to retire. I’m not satisfied with second place.”
“That’s it. They must talk to me before the end of the season.”
Back in France, his efforts in helping the national team lift their second World Cup have been deservedly recognised. So much so that top teams in the country want to bring him back, with rumours that multiple approaches have been made.
Giroud basically confirmed those reports, although he confides his heart remains at Chelsea.
“Yes [I have had approaches] but I won’t tell you. The priority is Chelsea.”
This is not the first time Giroud has been in such a pickle. In his last one-year-and-a-half at Arsenal, his goals per minute ratio was excellent, as he was utilised by then coach Arsène Wenger as a super-sub.
It is clear that is not the position he wants to be in. He sees himself still performing at a high level and he wants to be at a club where he will be given chances to be on the pitch week in and out, as it was the case earlier in his career.
“The thing is, obviously, we are still waiting to find out whether the club will have the opportunity to buy players or not, so maybe it’s a bit confusing now. But I’ll try.”
“With what I’ve achieved here, there is no reason they won’t give me one more year. But I need to be happy, also.”
“The most important thing for me is to enjoy the game, be happy on the pitch and to have more minutes. I’m a competitor so yes, obviously...”
“I don’t want to talk about that. That’s not the point today. But I really want to play more.”
-Olivier Giroud; Source: football.london
The fans hear you, Oli, loud and clear. But unfortunately, Sarri does not seem to be listening...