With a new but registered Thursday, September 22 against Austria, Olivier Giroud is three goals in three matches with the French football team. Do these performances guarantee him a ticket for the World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18)? Coach Didier Deschamps remains cautious.
“Did I tell you he wouldn’t be at the World Cup, or that he would be? Neither. He’s doing everything to make sure he’s there. But there’s a lot of competition in all positions”, slipped the coach after a new pawn of his former favorite N.9, Thursday against Austria (2-0).
The boss of the Blues has been blowing hot and cold for several months aboutOlivier Giroudgrows on the bench of substitutes by the return of Karim Benzema to Euro-2021 (less than an hour of play in 4 matches), or even outright outside the group after the competition.
As in March, the presence of the Milanese is only due to the Madrilenian package. And as in March, where he distinguished himself with two goals in two matches, “Olive” jumped at the chance to improve his statistics, brought to 49 goals in 113 selections (2 units behind record holder Thierry Henry), and give nodes to the brain of Deschamps.
Centerpiece in 2018, what about in 2022?
It is precisely the CV of Giroud, the centerpiece of the 2018 World Cup won in Russia, which makes the coach hesitate: a framework with unbolted status, now forced to “settle for crumbs”, can he blend into the group without state of mind ?
“Humanly it is very difficult”, he repeated Sunday on Téléfoot. In club, the “Rossonero” in any case puts all the necessary ingredients to show its usefulness on the ground. He already has five goals in nine matches in all competitions. With the Blues, he struggled like hell on Thursday, launching Kylian Mbappé for the opener and coming out of his box to place an unstoppable header on the 2-0.
Mbappé: “Of course Olivier Giroud is a real plus”
The Stade de France accompanied his replacement at the end of the game with loud applause, up to the commitment made by the former striker of Montpellier, Arsenal and Chelsea. Giroud, a real plus? “Of course!” exclaimed Mbappé in the mixed zone. “When you’re the second best scorer in the history of the France team, if it’s not a plus, you’ll never be a plus!”, Commented the young star of Paris SG.
The one his friends call “the phoenix” works on the ground to convince Didier Deschamps to take him to Qatar. And outside, the tall bearded man with peroxidized hair spreads the good word: “Even being on the bench, I always shot in the direction of the team. I never put the souk in a locker room”, to – it is underlined with RTL and M6.
“I never had any moods or bad behavior when I was on the bench (…) I never complained about Karim’s return,” he added to Canal+.
At Arsenal and Chelsea, once he lost his starting position, Giroud effectively melted into the role of a model substitute, with a mind of steel and a mentality verified as exemplary by the coaches who led him, from Arsène Wenger to Thomas Tuchel via Frank Lampard.
“I don’t know what he’s telling you, ultimately I’m not interested”
But his soothing statements to the French media did not seem to have moved the coach. “I don’t know what he’s telling you, ultimately it doesn’t interest me”, a Deschamps coupe on Wednesday at a press conference. “I know how it works. Between saying things and doing, there is a course,” noted the boss of the world champions.
Silent on Thursday in front of the press, but not silent in front of goal, Giroud sowed seeds on the road to the World Cup, aware however that sports performance is necessary, but not sufficient, to snatch his ticket to Doha. A funny situation, definitely.