Not Lacazette, not Ben Yedder, not Martial but Olivier Giroud has made it to the WC in Russia this summer. Didier Deschamps, the manager of the French national team, knows what Ollie brings to a football team: “He may not have all the qualities of the other attackers, but the way he plays makes the team stronger. And at the same time he remains effective.” It is so good to hear this from a different manager than Wenger who has always believed in this added value (and developed it further) of the man from the French Alps.
Giroud will turn 32 after the summer, so it is quite a feat to keep such good French attackers out of the WC squad. Over the years, we had many posts and discussions about what Giroud brought to the team. I liked to call him a Holding Attacker who plays with his back to the goal a lot and allows others to join the attack. He was an important part of our spine and allowed our midfielders to both release the ball to him and get themselves into dangerous positions. Ollie created space in congested defences and added unpredictability to our attacks. His aerial prowess was second to none and his sweet left-foot has both feeling and menace, and with his head, foot and back-heel he produced some fine assists and pre-assists for us, and many goals in the process too (105 goals/253 games).
I am delighted with the purchase of Aubameyang and I reckon he will be great for us next season. But we paid a price for his arrival as the deal was only done curtesy of Le Handsome moving to the Chavs and, at least for me, that was a bitter pill to swallow. We also weakened our chances to win the UEFA cup significantly last season, as Auba was ineligible for the competition and Ollie was wearing the all blue of Conte and Co from January onwards.
Giroud signed an (insulting) 18 months contract, so he only has a year left at Chelsea. I want him back at the Home of Football. For me, his technical, tactical and personal contributions are still of high value to the team. Conte needed to boost his CF options and Ollie was a safe bet, but given his short-term contract, his age and the likelihood that the Italian will leave this summer, it is unlikely that he has a real future there. Ollie should finish his career at Arsenal and we really need a quality super-sub who offers something different and comes on with real passion and impact.
Furthermore, we need a CF for the cup competitions so the league attackers can get a rest and Ollie is just the man for this. It is a no-brainer for me: bring him home and let him finish his career at the club where he belongs. I want to sing that song again.