Veteran centre forward Olivier Giroud went from an afterthought to the man of the hour during Project Restart last season, defying expectations and narratives not for the first time in his two and a half years at Stamford Bridge. His goals proved just as crucial to Chelsea finishing in the top four as they did a the season prior to Chelsea winning the Europa League, or to winning the FA Cup the year before that.
Throughout it all, Giroud’s attitude and behavior was exemplary and a model for all other professional footballers to follow — and one of the reasons he was offered and then agreed to a one-year contract extension.
Since then, the situation has gotten more complex however with the arrival of another striker, Timo Werner, pushing Giroud down to just third in the pecking order. And while Giroud has talked repeatedly about how well he and Werner could complement each other on the pitch, that’s not a combination we’ve seen much so far. Giroud has started just one of our six matches and made substitute appearances in two others. Only one of those appearances came in the Premier League, and that just a little over a quarter of an hour of confusing football against West Brom. Both Tammy (277 minutes) and Timo (450 minutes) are comfortably outpacing Giroud (111 minutes) in terms of involvement.
It’s a more than familiar situation for the 34-year-old, but one that he’s willing to fight once again ... at least until reevaluating things in January.
“I’ve written a book called ‘Always Believe It’ so I’m not going to go anywhere without a fight. There is competition but I will fight and we saw the rewards of that at the end of last season.
“I am convinced that I have a role to play at Chelsea. We will see in January.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Metro
That sounds very much like last season, when Giroud was one foot out the door in January before staying and making an impact.
But at the very least, he will be a good influence in the dressing room until then. If we do lose him in January, we can only hope his experience and clutch performances will not be missed.