Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea to win trophies and titles, and regardless of any transfer bans or player sales (bye, Eden), he remains undeterred in his ambitions. After all, winning is a habit that needs constant and consistent cultivating.
“The Champions League is very tough. We’ve got a talented squad, but it’s quite young. Everybody knows the Champions League is a lot about experience.
“We’re going to fight in every competition — but the main target will be to compete with City and Liverpool for the Premier League title.”
That’s easier said than done of course. The gap between the top two and the rest of the top six, not to mention the rest of the league, is significant, and it’s unlikely to be bridged within a year or two — and that may come a bit too late for Giroud’s Premier League goals (though if he scores a lot of goals...).
But Chelsea still have managed to collect two trophies despite City’s Premier League dominance in the the last two seasons, giving Giroud almost as many trophies in 18 months at Chelsea (2) as he lifted at Arsenal in 5.5 seasons (3).
“It was tough for me [to leave Arsenal], but it was amazing to sign for a club like Chelsea. It was like an improvement for me because — OK, it’s Manchester City now — but Chelsea have been the best club in England over the past 10 years. It was a new challenge with big motivation, big targets.”
“With Arsenal it was difficult to fight for the title. We were always fighting for the Champions League places. I won a few FA Cups and Community Shields. When you can’t win the league, winning the FA Cup is quite nice, so I’ve got amazing memories.
”Chelsea is a club where you have maybe more expectations, higher expectations. They were winning more titles these past 10 years and obviously Arsenal wants to come back to the ‘Invincibles’ days, but it’s not easy. I’m not going to say we are doing things better at Chelsea. We just try to be as competitive as we can, to step up and win more trophies.”
It’s all about having the right mentality. Fortunately, the new boss is one of those who helped write the book on Chelsea’s mentality in the last couple decades.
“In football, for me, it’s two-thirds of the quality you need to have. I’ve seen so many talented players — but without mental strength they can’t step up and get out of their comfort zone. Mental strength is massive in football and sport in general.”
“[Lampard] is coming with big energy and we are working very hard, and in a good way. I think he’s got the squad to compete in the different competitions this year.”
As much as we’re hoping things stay the same in this regard — mentality, trophies, winning! — we’re also hoping that the club’s renewed emphasis on youth isn’t just talk. At the same time, we’re also hoping that the youth are actually as good as we think they are. Giroud has some reassuring words in that regard.
“Many young players sometimes have to go on loan to get some game time. This transfer ban gives them an opportunity to play more, show their qualities and — honestly, trust me — we’ve got plenty of young, talented players at Chelsea.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: BBC
If their talents can be combined with a winning attitude, we just might find trophy success for the 4th consecutive season, and for the 12th season in the last 17 years (the only five trophy-less seasons in the Abramovich Era so far are: 03-04, 07-08, 10-11, 13-14, 15-16)