Olivier Giroud may be one of the few remaining veterans at Chelsea, but that doesn’t mean he’s here just to make up numbers, pick up paycheck, and start planning for retirement.
“I am here to help the new generation, but beware, the time for retirement has not come. I’m still hungry and I have a lot of ambition.
“I do not want to be Chelsea’s no. 2 striker, be certain. It’s not because I’m here as a big brother for young people that I’m on the sidelines.”
Young Tammy Abraham has started three of the four Premier League games so far, and has repaid that faith with back-to-back two-goal efforts against promoted sides Norwich City and Sheffield United.
But Giroud does not consider the competition for the starter’s job over just yet — and he’s already ahead of Michy Batshuayi — especially as he seems to hint that this year’s competition is actually more fair than when he had to beat out big-money signing Álvaro Morata and Sarri-favorite Gonzalo Higuaín. And since he still managed to accomplish both of those tasks, starting both the FA Cup and the Europa League finals in the last two seasons, he has plenty of confidence in himself in doing so again.
“The sensation [of not being a starter] is uneven. I had fun in the final of the European Super Cup, probably Chelsea’s best match this season. It was necessary to digest this disappointment with the Premier League, which just started.
“The competition is open and healthy, with young Tammy Abraham, which was not the case last year. This boy has taken his chances, he scores and if he works well, I would be there too to put pressure. There is no reason for me to worry about the rest of the season.”
One thing’s for sure, Giroud’s far from done, be that at Chelsea or wherever the road may take him next — MLS in America possibly; but certainly not yet!
Chelsea had picked up the one-year option on his contract to keep him here through this season, but as the World Cup-winning striker, who’s still France’s first-choice makes it quite clear, he still feels as young and trophy-hungry as the kids he’s competing against.
“I want to play as long as my body will allow me, and as long as this kid’s urge enlivens me on the football fields, you will see me again.
“Playing football without competition or the opportunity to win does not interest me. These two conditions are essential to me. Just to be going through the motions, is not my style. I can tell you, I feel fresh and fit and I still have a few good years ahead of me.
“But that does not stop me from anticipating and thinking about what I’m going to do next.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Le Figaro via Google Translate
Giroud will turn 33 at the end of the month, and is certainly getting closer to the end of his illustrious, and often strangely underrated career. He’s scored in double-digits for twelve straight seasons, and while he’s got only the one so far in the Super Cup, there’s no reason to think he won’t continue that streak given the large number of games Chelsea have coming up across all competitions.