Julian Stephen believes the French striker deserves praise not only for his ability, but also for his professional approach to the game.
Rennes boss Julian Stephen praised Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, saying that despite his regular lack of first-team football, his professionalism was an “unparalleled” example of following other players.
The 34-year-old has played more games for France than Chelsea this season, with Timo Werner signing him over the summer under the Stamford Bridge picking order.
Werner has quickly established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice striker, while Tammy Abraham is currently the back-up of boss Frank Lampard’s favorite.
This means that Giroud has been limited to seven appearances for the London club in all competitions, with the Carabao Cup defeat against Tottenham in September being his only start. Many of his other performances have been flying flicks in the final stages of the game.
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The arrests linked Giroud to a move away from the club in January, with the former Arsenal player looking forward to regular first-team football to secure a place in France’s squad for next summer’s European Championships.
Responding to the rumors, Lampard said Giroud was a “huge member of the team” and still considered him an important part of his plans, which were being discussed in the near future. Is
Giroud could be given a rare chance to impress when Chelsea take on Stephen Renz’s side in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old believes Lampard’s depth of strength is reflected in Giroud’s struggles for regular action, although he also thinks the Blues boss is lucky to have such a player on a bench with such an exemplary attitude.
“When I was talking about the big players in the Chelsea squad who weren’t starting, I was thinking about him. [Giroud] Especially, “he told reporters.
“It shows the wealth of these clubs with the options they can choose from. In many clubs it is strict [selection] Issues.
“Giroud is a unique example for other players in terms of attitude. Even though he only plays for a few minutes, he has full commitment on the pitch.
“It shows that he is an elite player who is able to give his best whatever his status is.”
Stephen also insisted that he was not going to panic despite Raines’ recent poor form, which has seen him lose five of his last six matches in all competitions. They have failed to score in four of them, including a home defeat by Bordeaux on Friday.
The Ligue 1 side are also at the bottom of their Champions League group and could be out with two matches left if they lose to Chelsea.
“We should not panic,” he added. “We are clearly disappointed with the results and the performance against Bordeaux.
“We will get to the game with confidence and dynamism. We are together, united, and with a strong will, to find solutions, that’s for sure.”