Frank Lampard found his hand almost forced into the switch, with Tammy Abraham still not fit and Michy Batshuayi having spurned his own opportunity in the lineup, with a poor showing against Manchester United on Monday night.
The French striker led the line well, bringing others into play and proving a threat on goal in the first half, netting the game’s opener and being involved in the build-up for Chelsea’s second goal, too.
After the match, Lampard was asked about the veteran forward’s impact and whether he could be more regularly involved going forward.
In response, while the boss was keen to point out that Giroud’s performance was a positive, he also noted that his presence meant a slight change in approach was required from the rest of the team.
“Yes, I think he can be a solution, if we need to adapt slightly," he said.
“Tammy has been fantastic, scored regular goals [but has found it] more difficult recently. You understand both their attributes. It’s positive.
“You have to play to [Giroud’s] strengths, bring people into the game. If we have to adapt, that’s the test I’m under.”
The win over Tottenham stretched the gap between Chelsea and their rivals to four points, with fourth place and the Champions League spot being fiercely contested between at least three, if not four, sides.
Lampard noted that the team still lacks a few key individuals who can help win games when the performance level is right and, while praising the impact of those who came into the lineup, suggested that consistency is king and juggling the lineup was a difficult balance to strike.
“It’s another game, we can’t get carried away, our focus needs to be even more. We still have some issues, three wingers out injured, Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] on the bench, [there are] lots of ways we can get a threat [in the final third].
“[The system] only works when they play the way they play: Mason [Mount] and Ross [Barkley] mobile behind Oli, and get beyond like Mason did.
“It’s the players that enforce it, they make the system. Everybody can say ‘why didn’t they play last week’; I need a squad pumped and ready to go. It’s not easy, they’re human and want to play every game but the spirit was fantastic.”
Chelsea’s next three games are spread acoss three competitions, with Bayern Munich in the Champions League next up. Following that, it’s away to Bournemouth in the league and home to Liverpool in the FA Cup, as the Blues’ season reaches a potentially defining period.
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