Returning to Blue in the absence of Karim Benzema, after having been snubbed in four of the last five rallies, Olivier Giroud largely seized the opportunity that Didier Deschamps offered him this Thursday evening against Austria (2-0): a goal, an assist and a role played to perfection at the front. The World Cup is in two months, but will that be enough to convince the coach?
By Jérémie Baron, at the Stade de France
Few things in Europe have to be worth the love of San Siro, admittedly. But Olivier Giroud must have missed, for a year and three months, to feel this boiling Stade de France, chanting his surname in unison. The last time was in June 2021, when the big stem from Chambéry scored twice against Bulgaria, a few days before a Euro where he will only scratch 40 minutes of play in four games. Since then, the Frenchman has discovered Serie A, wreaked havoc there from the top of its 35 banks, and raised the scudetto. In the French team, however, his status continued to slide towards the box of those with whom Didier Deschamps does not really know what to do.
Two goals from Thierry Henry
Because between June 2021 and this summer, the Rossonero has almost disappeared from circulation internationally, having only set foot in Clairefontaine once out of the five gatherings of the Blues. His only window of opportunity? Two friendlies against Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa, where he entertained the public at the Vélodrome and Pierre-Mauroy, with a pawn each time. However, La Déche still preferred Wissam Ben Yedder, three months later, and had left him pondering in Lombardy. Last Thursday, the coach confirmed that he only appealed to the Milan control tower when a certain Karim Benzema – with whom cohabitation seems complicated – was indisposedbut who cares: as usual, the center-forward has crunched his luck with full teeth, with what he can do.
For seventy-eight minutes, the 2012 French champion recalled what made his strength under the national tunic, against David Alaba’s teammates : this pivotal role with his back to goal that no one else seems capable of taking on among the French pool, his discounts which oil the game, his activity in the air and his presence in the box, the fear he inspires in the eyes of his bodyguards, his complementarity with Antoine Griezmann (another upset Blue, who was already serving on the last goal of G with the Tricolors and moreover left at the same time as him) or his omnipresence in the passing circuits once we start to find him. And that slipped by itself: on recovering an Austrian gift just before the hour mark, he was able to launch Kylian Mbappé, allowing the Bondynois to go and plant his goal alone; ten minutes later, he felt Grizou’s cake coming and soiled Philipp Lienhart’s 89 meter to place a grandiose helmet shot in the strings of Patrick Pentz: 2-0, signed Giroud.
35a & 357j – Thanks to his goal against Austria, Olivier Giroud becomes this Thursday evening, at 35 years and 357 days, the oldest scorer in the history of the French team, overtaking Roger Marche (35 years old). and 287 days in December 1959 against Spain). Briscard. #FRAAUT pic.twitter.com/0u5ORYB3I8
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 22, 2022
“He does everything to make sure he goes to the World Cup” Didier Deschamps
“I have always considered that a player who has a status must keep the same status in the France team.coldly explained DD about the former Tourangeau, Sunday in Téléfoot. Humanly, it’s very difficult when you don’t keep it. » A way of not giving too much false hope to his striker, who even by piling up the caramels with each appearance with EDF, still has a good chance of not seeing Qatar. In the meantime, the person concerned continues his work: the oldest smuggler but above all the oldest scorer in the history of this selection (at 35 years and 357 days), he now points to two achievements (49 in 113 caps since 2011) from His Majesty Thierry Henry. After his player’s recital, Deschamps showed up “happy for Olivier, he deserves it. He had more complicated periods, in club, where he had little or nothing. If I call him and put him on, it’s for him to be good and to score goals. He participated in a lot of offensive actions, a lot of combinations. […] May he continue to perform well. Do not interpret. Did I tell you it wouldn’t be there or it would be (at the World) ? Neither, but he does everything to make sure to go. There is lots and lots of competition in all positions. I can have a little more margin but it is not to bring 26 to bring 26. Good for what he has done. » The only boycott in Qatar that French football will authorize is therefore perhaps that of Olivier Giroud.
By Jérémie Baron, at the Stade de France
Comments collected by MB, at the Stade de France