Two months ago, Olivier Giroud practically had his bags packed and ready to blow this joint. Now, he’s ignoring any speculation about his future but not without making it clear that he would certainly considering staying with Chelsea for another season or two, or three — provided the club were to offer the impending free agent a new contract of course.
“Yes [...] of course. There are a few months to go, games to win and maybe another trophy, and after, you know, I think I have two (or) three nice seasons in front of me. It’s not the time to talk about contracts and everything but I will take a decision when it comes.”
That’s the power of professionalism. That’s the power of a promise kept.
Many had wondered in the winter transfer window about Frank Lampard’s insistence on keeping Giroud after barely playing him in the preceding months (see also: Pedro), but with an injury crisis suddenly enveloping the squad once again, the golden oldies have been forced to step back into the fore. That certainly made Lampard’s promise of minutes to Giroud easier to keep — it’s not like Michy Batshuayi has been any good — but a promise kept is a promise kept.
At the end of the day, honesty and honest effort is all anyone can truly ask for. Lampard delivered and Giroud has been delivering in response.
“[January] was a tough month for me. I just spoke with the manager and I believed what he said, that I would get my chance and he has given me my chance. I have basically tried to give his confidence back on the pitch.
“I do my job the best that I can and I’m very happy to be back in the team. Of course, my confidence is better. The transfer window is behind me. I’m a Chelsea player, I’m happy here again and that’s the most important thing. Even if I don’t score, I try to help the team.”
Giroud surely realized that he’s not going to a first-choice striker at 33 at any top-level club. But at Chelsea, he’s a well-respected and well-loved member of the team, who’s been the ultimate professional throughout. When not playing, he’s been mentoring the young guns. And it sounds like he’s more than happy to go back to a role like that once Tammy Abraham does return — though with a few more minutes for himself than in the first half of the season, ideally.
“My confidence is getting higher and higher because I am playing more games. I don’t know how long Tammy will be out for, to be honest. When he comes back, I will need him to be ready and then we can have a good competition again, which will be good for the team.
“Everybody needs to be ready, to be good psychologically, to give everything for the team [...] you have to be strong mentally [and] show a great character. We know we have to improve this consistency.”
Whether it’s Giroud’s last season or not, he wants to sign off like he’s signed off on each of his first two seasons with the club, a trophy.
“When you can’t fight for the (Premier League) title at Chelsea, you have to fight for the other trophies. The FA Cup is still a big trophy, especially in England. Obviously, I will be more than happy to help the team win another one.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: The Athletic
And that’s the sort of attitude and mentality this team needs from top to bottom.