Year after year, the Frenchman has shown that he is the man for the big occasion, and he certainly did it again on Wednesday. In a tough Champions League fixture away to Sevilla that could seal top spot in the group, Giroud bagged four goals in what was a spectacular performance.
Deservedly, he’ll get all the credit after today, but this is not the first time he’s shown up when his team needed him.
Giroud Proves Underrated Value Once Again
The Consummate Professional
It seems to be a never-ending cycle with Giroud, at least for the past few years.
First, he has a run of very little game time for a few months. Last season, it was due to Tammy Abraham‘s emergence, and this season it has been a combination of Abraham and new star signing Timo Werner that has kept him out.
Then, he goes away on international break and continues to score for France, at which point coach Didier Deschamps talks about how he’s underplayed and undervalued at Chelsea. Giroud looks set to leave to get consistent minutes elsewhere since the Blues can no longer guarantee him playtime.
But just when he seems to have one foot out the door, one way or another he claws his way back. Manager Frank Lampard‘s training-based meritocracy is a great way to do that, and he always impresses in training. He’s a true professional, and he has been during his entire career.
Exceptional Record in Big Games
The most important part, though, is that when he does get that chance, he takes it. He took it against Tottenham Hotspur last season, and by all means, he took it on Wednesday. Giroud also came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner last week against Rennes, but this game will overshadow that entirely.
The 34-year-old is the oldest player ever to score a hattrick in the Champions League and is the first Chelsea player to score four goals in a single game since his manager Lampard did it in 2010.
The question he must be asking himself is, how many times does he need to keep on proving himself for Lampard to give him a more prominent role in the team? Abraham’s development is more important than Giroud’s, but few can argue that at the moment the Frenchman continues to provide more to the team than his counterpart.
In just his second start of the season, Giroud came up with an absolute master-class, and he looks nailed on to start this weekend against Leeds United. He will likely have a nice run in the team, which could mean he stays with the club beyond January.
Just like last season, when a big game came around, he stepped up. And just like last season, he could have a huge part to play.