Frank Lampard insists that Olivier Giroud has been a “great professional” for Chelsea despite his lack of game time this season.
Lampard has restricted Giroud to just five appearances in all competitions since he took charge of Chelsea. In fact, the Frenchman has only played 32 minutes of football since making his last start against Leicester City on August 18.
This development at Stamford Bridge has unsurprisingly led to doubts over Giroud’s future. With Euro 2020 just around the corner, the striker needs regular game time to make the France squad next summer.
But the former Arsenal man’s hopes of convincing Lampard to give him more chances appear remote given the form of Tammy Abraham.
The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, has scored an impressive eight goals in just 10 appearances.
However, Lampard is pleased with Giroud’s attitude and reckons everything is good between them.
“My relationship is really good with him,” the Chelsea boss told reporters on Saturday.
“He’s a great professional, trains at a level everyday, great in the dressing room and in the game, passes on experience which he does.
“But in terms of that, everybody keeps asking me about the players that aren’t playing but it’s a difficult one because some players can’t play whether they’re 32 or at the other end of the spectrum at 21.
“And they have to keep working and be positive within the group because I’ve got no winners in this game, I want the club to win.
“So when I choose to select people or not it’s because I think it’s the best thing. I’m not blind to the fact when you’re not playing it’s not nice.
“Everyone wants to play. I understand that and accept that. I was one of the worst. I hated not playing. I was terrible. So on this side of the fence I get it, I get it, but all I want to see is positivity, how they are daily in the place and I’m seeing that.
“I’m seeing that and that’s sometimes the thing people in the outside world doesn’t see – why is he not playing? This one or that one.
“I’ve got to make choices in training and I want the group to be positive and well spirited and getting results, and at the moment we are doing that and it has to continue.”
Giroud, who has scored one goal this season, signed a one-year contract extension in the summer.
Lampard, meanwhile, will take Chelsea over to St Mary’s this afternoon to face Southampton in the Premier League. The match starts at 15:00 (CET).