Blues – France team: An Olivier Giroud, in resistance mode

Blues – France team: An Olivier Giroud, in resistance mode
Blues – France team: An Olivier Giroud, in resistance mode


The inclusion of Karim Benzema among the Blues selected for the Euro should get Olivier Giroud out of the eleven-type and media fires. His mental strength should enable him to overcome this new challenge.

Eight goals … The challenge seemed to him within reach of his left foot which cuts the trajectories, of his forehead as an altitude fighter. Another eight gestures that lash in the face of the nets to overtake theImperator Thierry Henry, current top scorer of theFrench team with 51 units. Olivier Giroud, him, points to 44 goals, in front of Platini, Trezeguet, Griezmann, Zidane, Fontaine, Papin … And has never hidden that this record populates his days and nights, history of engraving his name in the blue pantheon. But, there you go …. Benzema has arrived! And, suddenly, it’s as if the valiant “ Olive ” no longer existed, wiped off the map, stored in the cupboard of the previous scorers, despite his 107 capes. In the football debates that abound on social networks, TV and radio platforms, his name is mentioned in thirty seconds as attention is focused on the return of a certain Madrid striker and on his agreement with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé. Because, of course, Didier Deschamps lifted his prolonged boycott against a Karim Benzema at the top of his game with the idea of ​​forming the most formidable attacking trio of the moment. How could it be otherwise? The three outings in March against Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bosnia convinced him that it was urgent to regenerate his offensive model, even crowned in Russia in 2018.

Avenger of resilience

Such a fuss around this new look “BMG” attack is perfectly explained. Any gaming fan shivers with delight as they wait to discover this association. Olivier Giroud’s resentment would be just as legitimate. But he is far too well behaved and far too sure of himself to throw a picnic in the media. Even in a role of substitute for the replacement, the conquest of the Champions League with Chelsea last Saturday is enough for his present happiness. Mental golgoth, Avenger of resilience, the native of Chambéry overcame other shelters programmed since his beginnings in Grenoble (L2), Istres (National) and Tours (L2). At 34, a year older than Benzema, the Londoner has a track record that speaks volumes about his ability to last at a very high level: a World Cup, a C1, a Ligue 1, four FA Cups and a . Above all, he knows that Didier Deschamps has an elephant’s memory. For his baptism of coach (08/15/12 against Uruguay), DD had lined up holder. Since then, the loyalty between the two men has never known any cuts. This Euro 2021 is their fourth joint international tournament.

A supersub suit

Logically, the emergence of Karim Benzema pushes Olivier Giroud, indisputable holder of the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2016, on the bench. But the coach knows the talent of his striker to improve each entry into the game, even a handful of minutes. His ability to hold the ball with his back to the goal, to enhance the movements around him, his head game (offensive and defensive), his sense of foolproof sacrifice, so many qualities among others that will serve the Blues in the race to a third Euro in their history. Despite the influx of lazzi during the 2018 World Cup, Didier Deschamps had always maintained his attacker at the forefront. On May 18, despite a scant playing time in the club, he naturally incorporated it into his list of 26. There is no question of depriving himself of a totem pole from the past decade like his Spanish counterpart Luis Enrique who left Sergio Ramos to the house.

Raw statistics

However, this season, the Frenchman from Chelsea has really played very little, even less since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel, little fan of his profile which he considers too static, unsuitable for breathless races. Result: he has only started eight times in the Premier League. The last dates back to February 28, against Manchester United (0-0). In the Champions League, his total number of starts is blocked at two with, by the way, a quadruple in Seville in December. By combining these two competitions and the two National Cups, in 2020-21, the number 18 of the Blues has only played an entire match once, on December 12 against Everton. These brut (al) es statistics show the esteem and faith that Didier Deschamps feels in him. Many coaches would have used them to settle his score. Conversely, the boss of the world champions has granted him ten new capes since September 2020, including six times from the start (but never 90 minutes) with five goals. Pure Giroud, who will never let go … From June 15, opening of the Euro, less than ever.

Christophe Larcher

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