You could hear in Thomas Tuchel’s voice that he was genuinely sorry for Oliver Giroud when asked at a recent press conference about the Frenchman.
Giroud has featured sparingly under Tuchel, and even in recent games when you felt a striker with Giroud’s quality could make an impact on the game, Tuchel decided against using him.
Tuchel said “I think that he can have a huge impact to our team because he has the experience, the physical presence, the ruthlessness in the box that he represents and his style of football.
‘He suffered now in the last two and a half weeks and the last four games a bit.
‘I’m not so happy with my team management with regards to the decision-making during matches against Southampton and Leeds.
After the games I had the feeling this could have been two games where he should have 20-25 minutes to actually help us to win instead of draw.
I didn’t give him these minutes because honestly I have to adapt back to the three changes, which is actually sometimes only two changes because the last one you don’t want to do too early, so I have to re-adapt to this also.
So this is clearly my fault. He’s training good, he had a very decisive goal for us against Atletico, after that I assumed the games against Liverpool, Everton and now would be high, high intensity games where we used more of the speed, which is not his biggest strength, and there’s no problem about that.
‘He will stay positive. It’s my job to stay close to him, to push him, also to give him the true feeling that he’s still important because he is important for me.
‘So the game now is the next moment. I think the international break comes in a good moment for Oli, to keep the head above the clouds, to enjoy the moment with us, I know he’s a big factor in the group, he’s a big part of the dressing room and I want him to continue like this.’
Nobody can question Giroud’s professionalism, even under Frank Lampard when it seemed he was no longer part of his plans, Giroud trained well, stayed in shape and acted like a mentor to Tammy Abraham.
Tuchel knows he can rely on him, but clearly feels bad that the way forward for Chelsea’s attack appears to be without him.
Since Kai Havertz has been deployed as a false 9 in the game of Everton, Chelsea’s attack bas looked more fluid.
We haven’t caught fire yet, but it seems more and more of a case of when we hit a team for 5 or 6, rather than if we ever will.
We’re very lucky to have a player of Giroud’s experience in the squad and a player with his mind sight of continuing to work hard for the team even if he’s not playing.
Looking at Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Mason Mount all celebrating in the stands after Emerson secured our win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, you can see that there’s an amazing team spirit within the group.
And that’s down to players like Giroud acting in the teams best interests. He could easily be kicking up a stink about not playing but instead he continues to work hard and wait for his moment.
Giroud was handed the start against Sheffield United and at times it was painful. Tuchel’s attacking game plan relies on quick interchanging of passing and positions in order to create spaces in dangerous areas.
We all know this isn’t Giroud’s game, and that’s not his fault, nor is it Tuchel’s but we might just have to accept that Giroud’s role will be limited more and more as the likes of Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech et al start to click more and more.
Giroud might become our super sub, a final throw of the dice in crucial games coming up, or he might support the club from the sidelines.
Either way, we know Giroud will give his absolute all regardless of how and when Tuchel uses him.
And for that we owe him a great deal of respect and gratitude for players like that rarely come along in the modern day.
Ollie Giroud, he’s a Blue, yeah yeah.