Olivier Giroud has admitted that his time at Chelsea was far more demanding than his Arsenal career.
Giroud joined the Gunners in 2012 and went on to spend six years at the Emirates Stadium before making the switch to west London in 2018. The Frenchman played an important role at Chelsea, largely from the bench, and now plies his trade for Milan after leaving Stamford Bridge in July.
His spells on either side of the divide give him a unique insight into each club, which he recently shared during an interview with The Athletic.
“At Chelsea, when you are not scoring enough goals they might pick up another striker to replace you,” he said. “Maybe in a club like Chelsea you have less time to show your qualities than at Arsenal. That’s the main difference and the last ten years show that Chelsea have won more trophies.
“But they spend much more money than Arsenal. I loved playing at Arsenal with Arsene Wenger. It was my childhood dream and I can never thank him enough. But it was so hard to fight for the title. Always the target was for us to finish in the top four. To fight for the title was too difficult.
“The money is huge. If you win the Champions League and buy a striker at £90m, it shows the money is huge. But there might be something else that makes Chelsea win more than Arsenal. Maybe we’re more demanding because you have to fight for the title from the start of the season.
“We were ninth when Frank was sacked… maybe if it was at Arsenal, they would have given him longer to come back. At Chelsea it never happens and that’s why you have to be good sooner.”
Giroud was part of the Blues side that won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel last season. Although he was an unused substitute in the final, he scored the winner in his side’s round of 16 first leg triumph over Atletico Madrid and made several other important cameos, including netting four goals against Sevilla in the group stage.
Giroud went on to detail how Tuchel and Lampard differed in their approaches, suggesting that the job may have come too soon for the latter.
“Tuchel wanted to play a certain way. His philosophy was clear and we improved so much tactically,” he continued. “Lampard was maybe a bit young. It was maybe a bit too early in his managerial career to take a club like Chelsea. I don’t know if that’s true but maybe you can explain it like that.
“Under Tuchel we played in a very offensive 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 and I really improved tactically. He always tried to adapt to the team we faced. He has his ideas but the main thing is you know exactly what you will have to do before facing an opponent and the shape fits so well to our team.
“We had the players to play these positions and we were so strong. We had not only the quality but the quantity. When one player in the starting XI was tired, another top player could replace him.
“But I think Frank has got the potential to become a top manager. He needs time and experience to improve himself as a coach and you cannot become a top player or manager just like that.”