Olivier Giroud has been enjoying life under Frank Lampard so far and he has given some detail on the tactical work being done at training to prepare the players for the forthcoming campaign.
Of course so much of pre-season is about getting the players fit and ready for the busy nine months of competitive action that lie ahead, but a new head coach must also use the time wisely to start implementing his ideas so his team can hit the ground running. That’s exactly what has been happening according to Giroud.
‘It’s very interesting what we are doing in training,’ the striker said.
‘The training sessions are very nice. I was talking with the boys about that. It’s all about being well prepared physically, but tactically also.
‘The shape of the team maybe will change from last season. We might be able to change in a game. We can swap between tactical shapes.
‘The gaffer wants to work on a 4-2-3-1 and the 4-4-2. It’s a good point because it’s important to be able to adapt to the opponent. He doesn’t stick to one idea and he is open minded.’
We saw evidence of that in Ireland and the same can be expected when we meet Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama today. Kick-off is at 11am UK time and you can watch the match against the Japanese champions live on this website and The Fifth Stand App.
Frank Lampard has promised changes in personnel and shape during the 90 minutes in the Yokohama International Stadium and Giroud is looking forward to a stern test from organised and energetic opposition.
‘The game against Kawasaki is another step in our preparation. It’s always nice to play foreign teams. We will expect a tough opposition because we are still in the beginning of our preparations, and also because it’s very hot and humid. But we want to win every single game and it will be an interesting one for sure.
‘I am happy to come here, to visit Japan and see our fans. They are amazing. We want to give them a lot of pleasure on the pitch. Personally I will just try to do my job and be as efficient as possible.’
Giroud has had Japanese team-mates in the past, including two when he emerged onto the scene at Grenoble in Ligue 2, over 12 years ago now. It is the name of Tsukasa Umesaki that will forever be etched into the Frenchman’s mind, though. The attacking midfielder, who now plays for Shonan Bellmare, who are based not far from Yokohama, spent a brief spell on loan at Grenoble in 2007.
‘Umesaki is the player who assisted me for my first professional goal in the French Second Division, so he is very important for me!’ Giroud beamed.
‘The Japanese players I have played with were very professional, very respectful, very committed and always very well-prepared physically. Most of the time they were very sharp, very quick and good guys. I appreciated playing with them.’