With the season yet to reach its halfway point and Chelsea beginning the weekend seven points off the top, Olivier Giroud is clear – challenging for the Premier League title remains an ambition for 2020/21.
The 34-year-old World Cup winner also has domestic and European honours in his collection but the English league championship (he won the equivalent in France) has so far been elusive.
Chelsea have an important game today in our quest to climb the table, taking on a Man City side who surrendered their crown to Liverpool last season when they were beaten at the Bridge.
‘Because of the fact Liverpool is not flying like the two previous years we can join the title race, that’s my target,’ Giroud declares.
‘Obviously we need to learn from the disappointing results but we’re not going to change our target because it’s very tight. I also really want to win this Premier League, it’s something I want a lot.’
The centre-forward shares his opinion on why it has so far been an open race.
‘Firstly because there are no fans in the stadiums so maybe the smaller teams, if I can say that on paper, when they come to places like the Bridge or Anfield or the Emirates against the big teams they maybe play with less pressure. It is easier, that would explain the fact the Premier League is tight this year because of no fans, and also because nowadays the football has improved a lot and the smaller teams have improved a lot. The difference between the small teams and the big teams now is getting smaller and smaller.
‘Also because Liverpool had two amazing years and now with the injuries and no proper break or preparation maybe they feel a bit tired. It’s better for the other teams.’
If Chelsea are to rally after recent disappointing results and return to the form that served up 17 games unbeaten, the influence of the experienced Giroud behind the scenes is likely to be important, but as he has clearly shown again this season, he also has a part to play on the pitch when called upon.
‘Nine goals in six starts is not bad, it’s a good stat for a striker,’ he says of his own form.
‘We all look for the best statistics. The more efficient we are, the better for the team and obviously we have a lot of talented strikers and it’s always a headache for the manager to pick and choose the right one, with different qualities up front and with also a good understanding and complement between strikers and wingers.
‘The competition is good for everybody. It’s nice to step up and to stay focused and give your best to stay in the team. For me I’m very happy with scoring nine goals in six starts but I’ve got to keep it up to help the team achieve our targets.
‘As an experienced player, I’ve been nine years now in the Premier League so I know the league very well, I just try to give advice when the younger players want it. If they need anything they know I’m a good shoulder they can step on. I just want the best for the team, I just want to win this Premier League and I’m here to help.’