Strikers in football are often broadly categorized into bigs (tall, strong) and smalls (quick, skillful), and while those are oversimplifications by definition, they are still helpful in framing Olivier Giroud’s comments when asked how he thought Timo Werner’s arrival might affect his minutes at Chelsea next season.
The veteran center forward — target man, to be more specific as far as his role’s concerned — may be 33 by the time the next campaign begins, but he’s just as confident in his own abilities as before. He knows he brings something different to the table than Werner or Abraham, and that could prove just as useful as it has in the second half of the current season.
“If you had told me that it was a player of my profile who was coming, I would have been worried. It is not. As other teams play in a compact way against us, it’s not bad to have a big, a fulcrum that can make the link.
“But I’m not naive: Werner didn’t arrive to sit on the bench. I’ll do everything so that Lampard finds himself in a complex situation when it comes to making his selection.”
Giroud, who’s likely to start Saturday’s FA Cup final against his old team, is one of the best still at that style of center forward play, and Chelsea adjusted very well since February in playing to his strengths.
Timo Werner talked up his own pace and finishing, and Tammy Abraham is developing nicely into a complete striker, but old faithful Olivier may yet show them both a thing or two about leading the line — and maybe even while sharing the pitch given all the various tactical wrinkles Lampard will now have at his disposal.
“Werner’s arrival is an additional motivation and it was inevitable that the club recruit a striker. Chelsea are a great club, which spends money to strengthen the team, and I was expecting someone to come. With Ziyech and Werner, Chelsea will try to be more competitive.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: L’Equipe via Metro
So say we all.