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Olivier Giroud: The Best Target Man On Earth

Olivier Giroud almost had a leg outside the door of Stamford Bridge in the winter transfer window. The Frenchman was not provided with mu...

Olivier Giroud almost had a leg outside the door of Stamford Bridge in the winter transfer window. The Frenchman was not provided with much game time at Chelsea, and he even admitted that he was seeing himself somewhere else. But you know football. Or rather, you never know. Chelsea failed to sign a replacement and he had to stay for at least one more window. He had all rights to sulk, taunt, make public rants and make a mess of it. But being the incredible professional the Frenchman is, he kept his head down and trained as hard as anyone else.

Things were not going pretty well for Tammy Abraham either. He had been carrying that ankle injury for a while and wasn't finding it easy to score. After the United game, Mitchy Batshuayi made Frank think, enough is enough, let me get the veteran in. Frank always preferred an athletic frontman who could press the opposition high up the pitch and help the overall build-up play. Oli was deemed too old and slow for it. But Eden Hazard wasn't lying when he told Giroud was the best target man on earth.

Giroud scored his first premier league goal of the season to give the Blues their lead at Stamford bridge against Spurs. The goal was the least of his contributions. He also paved way for the second goal with a beautiful lay off to the path of Mason Mount.  He was bringing his teammates into the game, which was his biggest strength all this time. The Liverpool game was when we suddenly realised why he was a part of a world cup winning team. He didn't score, could only hit the woodwork from a golden chance, but he was one of the most important figures in the team. He was going toe-to-toe and elbow-to-elbow with Virgin van Dijk, one of the most dominant defenders of the game. If it wasn't for the big Frenchman making it difficult for van Dijk, Chelsea wouldn't have socred the second goal.

The Everton game was the best football we have played in a long time. Even though it was a spectacular all-round team performance, Giroud was at the thick of everything again. The second goal scored by Pedro was exactly why one would have Giroud in the game. He swiftly moved deeper to escape from the central defenders, laid off the sharp pass from Gilmour to Barkley with his first touch and we were past the whole defence in a split second. Once he had scored the last goal from a Willian cross, it was almost unbelievable to think that he would have ended up somewhere else in the winter. Suddenly everyone started wondering why he was not playing all this time. 

So now comes the question. What to do with Olivier Giroud? Obviously, Lampard prefers Tammy as his first-choice striker, but he seems pretty handy at the moment. He gives a different dimension to our game. While Liverpool was pressing our backline so high, sending it long to Giroud almost always worked. He is so aware of his partners all the time so that he always improve them. He makes acres of space for a winger or midfielder to run into. He is useful in set-pieces at both ends. The only thing against him is his age at the moment. He is not getting any younger at 33. And moreover, he is not a prolific goal scorer even at his best. 

So the best role we could give him is of that second choice striker who is capable of filling the void when called upon. He will always be an alternative option when we find it difficult to score. His experience in big stages will be helpful to all the kids out there. But with Chelsea looking for someone like Dembele to compete with Tammy, it remains to be seen whether Giroud will stay here for another season. If he doesn't it will be an incredible loss to the side. He has been a loyal servant to the club ever since he started wearing that blue shirt, through thick and thin. 

Written by - @manujalbi
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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