Mate mate mate mate.
A quid for the thoughts of Arsenal Fan TV or Karim Benzema after Olivier Giroud scored four goals for Chelsea in Seville last night. Sure, Sevilla had made seven changes to their line-up (and then had to bring in their reserve keeper), as both they and the visitors were already through to the knockout stages. But the quality of Giroud’s goals (the perfect hat-trick plus a penalty – the perfect quadruple?) reminded us of the Frenchman’s high class.
Now is the time to say, “I always rated Giroud. World Cup winner, don’t forget. He’s underrated.” We should rate him. He is brilliant – but only inside the box. This is a problem in 2020. Forwards are now expected to be fast enough to counter-attack in seconds. He’s got Sunday League pace, but if you play to his strengths, he will find the net.
Looking like an Armani model doesn’t help him. You can’t trust someone who is ridiculously good-looking but also happens to be great at something else. It’s unfair. Still, chapeau Olivier.
As much as this game was a personal triumph for Giroud, it was also a triumph for Frank Lampard. Sevilla don’t often lose at home, so this was a statement result in Europe’s top club competition – and one achieved with a second-tier front line. As a new manager, Lampard is often lumped in with Mikel Arteta and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which is understandable, but I think he’s a better coach than either (and far better than Solskjaer).