Olivier Giroud’s departure to Inter Milan is all but agreed, with Frank Lampard not even denying in his press conference ahead of this week’s game with Newcastle that there were discussions taking place to move the striker on.
It’s a move that makes sense, on the surface at least. Giroud isn’t playing, at all, not even in cup ties against lower league teams. He wants to play, and we may as well move him on while we can get a little bit of money back in return.
There’s also a sense we owe Giroud, who has patiently sat on the bench or in the stands since August, barely touching the pitch and not letting out a peep of complaint.
But watching yesterday’s game back one can’t help that Chelsea are gambling a little bit with this transfer – in fact, the club may as well be playing roulette in a live social casino. We struggled so badly to create any chances against the Magpies, in the same way we have in so many home games.
Giroud might not have made the difference yesterday, but it still seems crazy to be selling your attacking options when you’re struggling to score. Yes this problem is more one of midfield creativity, but Giroud is well known for his linkup play. There’s no doubting that he’s a very effective plan B, as we’ve seen numerous times in his career with us and previously with Arsenal.
Yesterday, with Christian Pulisic injured, Lampard’s options on the bench were really weak. Michy Batshuayi got the nod ahead of Giroud as a sub, as he has done all season, but plenty would rather have seen the Frenchman. We had our opposition pinned back, but Tammy on his own wasn’t able to really threaten a packed and physical back line.
After an hour of trying to play through them, it perhaps would have caused them more issues to try something different, and Giroud certainly offers that. Watching our lone striker trudge off to be replaced by a similar player sent out to continue the same ineffective job was puzzling to say the least.
Not using your plan B is one thing, but selling them off entirely is something entirely different. We really hope that this outgoing transfer has only been given the green light because there is a dangerous and effective replacement coming in. Otherwise the higher-ups at the club really are gambling with our Champions League future.