Lam­pard keen for Giroud to stay while Abra­ham keeps on learn­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football - At Stam­ford Bridge As it stands, Man City have the best shot con­ver­sion rate in the Pre­mier League this sea­son

Frank Lam­pard says he would be pre­pared to dis­cuss Olivier Giroud’s fu­ture in Jan­uary af­ter the for­ward ad­mit­ted he could be forced to con­sider his op­tions if he re­mains on the fringes of the Chelsea line-up.

Giroud, who was on the bench again in Satur­day’s 1-0 win over New­cas­tle United, re­vealed his frus­tra­tions while on in­ter­na­tional duty with France last week, say­ing that, at the age of 33, he was anx­ious for more game time.

The emer­gence of Tammy Abra­ham as Lam­pard’s first-choice striker this sea­son means Giroud’s only Pre­mier League start so far came against Le­ices­ter City in Au­gust. The for­ward is again ex­pected to be on the bench when Chelsea visit Am­s­ter­dam for their Cham­pi­ons League group meet­ing with Ajax on Wed­nes­day.

Goals against Ice­land and Turkey dur­ing the most re­cent in­ter­na­tional break con­firmed Giroud’s con­tin­u­ing threat and Lam­pard made it clear he would like to keep the French­man at Stam­ford Bridge, while Abra­ham spoke on Satur­day about his more se­nior team-mate’s in­flu­ence on his own form.

The man­ager in­sists that much can change be­fore Jan­uary, but ac­knowl­edges Giroud’s age is a fac­tor in the player’s de­ci­sion.

“I had a good chat with Oli be­fore he went away and I al­ways re­spect all the play­ers, but par­tic­u­larly the play­ers of that age of low thir­ties,” Lam­pard said. “I love his pro­fes­sion­al­ism. He was bang on when he spoke to me and with his quotes when he was away with France. He shouldn’t be happy and ac­cept not play­ing. That’s what good play­ers do. I think he will get his games and be a big in­flu­ence for us.

“At the mo­ment, because of how Tammy is play­ing, there hasn’t been the min­utes, so I would hap­pily sit down with Oli in Jan­uary. I want him here.”

Abra­ham also ac­knowl­edged he would not like Giroud to leave. “I just take those lit­tle things that I see in train­ing,” the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional said. “If the ball is com­ing into the box off the ground, his vol­ley­ing and ev­ery­thing is on point, so you have to take those lit­tle things and add them to your game.”

Abra­ham was un­able to add to his sea­son’s tally of nine goals against New­cas­tle, miss­ing a num­ber of chances as Chelsea were forced to rely on a 73rd-minute ef­fort from left-back Mar­cos Alonso to se­cure a nar­row win that means they will face Ajax on the back of five suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries, in a game Lam­pard ad­mits will mark the lat­est step on the learn­ing curve for his young play­ers.

“Ev­ery­thing is an ed­u­ca­tion in foot­ball,” the man­ager said. “To­day was, try­ing to break down a team with 10 men be­hind the ball a lot of the time. An­other one with Ajax, a top-level team who man­aged to get to the Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nals and who play a cer­tain way.”

Steve Bruce, the New­cas­tle man­ager, be­lieves Al­lan Saint-max­imin can im­prove his side’s threat in front of goal and help them make the most of what he sees as a more favourable run of fix­tures and move clear of the bot­tom three.

“He’s a con­stant threat,” Bruce said. “He gets you on the edge of your seat. He’s a bit un­pre­dictable. We have to find the fin­ished prod­uct, but we have got a few young play­ers who can only get bet­ter.”

Win­ner: Tammy Abra­ham cel­e­brates with Chelsea scorer Mar­cos Alonso

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