GdS: From delight to dejection – Giroud’s sad farewell to the Milan derby

By Oliver Fisher -

Olivier Giroud has experienced a fair amount of derby delight while at AC Milan, but that turned to disappointment in what was almost certainly his final game against Inter on Monday night.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport write, Giroud must have been tormented by the suffering of not being able to lend a hand to the team while his team-mates wandered aimlessly up front, hostages of the Nerazzurri’s trap.

Giroud’s last Milanese derby passed by like this in a way that is sad for the fans but for him a little more, given it was an undeserved farewell to a fixture that he has experienced a lot of joy in.

Over the course of his three seasons with the Rossoneri, Giroud has always been the man for the key matches, the player to be preserved in view of the big match. This time he was made to sit on the bench.

The three questions

Among the various charges presented by the fans to Stefano Pioli is the decision to leave Giroud out of the starting line-up for a game of this magnitude, even if he has shown a bit of fatigue lately.

The coach was desperate for a solution to undermine Simone Inzaghi’s plan at least once so he tried the Rafael Leao as the centre-forward. In a decisive derby (for Inter), these are those circumstances in which if you get it right you’re a visionary, otherwise it looks far worse.

Leao wandered like a troubled soul, with two real centre-forwards (Giroud and Luka Jovic) and one adaptable (Noah Okafor) relegated to the bench. There is a tactical question, of experience, and also a character one given that Giroud has often helped the team through difficult moments with goals from nowhere.

The absence of someone leading the attack in the derby was exposed dramatically, even if he is 37 years of age and has struggled for form a bit more in recent weeks.

Finally there is a question of opportunity, i.e. giving him the chance to go out with a bang in this particular fixture, which comes last in the scale of priorities that makes a coach choose the starting XI before a match, but in this case it is not negligible.

Decision made

Confirmations have arrived from the French media: Olivier has reached a total agreement with Los Angeles FC over a one-year contract with the option for a second, so a new life in America awaits.

It is a life choice for himself, because he has already made it clear that he sees himself in a managerial role after he has stopped playing, but also a life choice for his children, who will grow up with the famous LA lifestyle.

Giroud will be remembered as the man who won the derby in the Scudetto season, who scored big goals to drag the team towards the title, and for his love for the shirt.

Football and sentimentality most of the time don’t go together, but this would have been another excellent reason to see him on the pitch in this derby.

Giroud’s numbers read 47 goals in 127 games, one every 186 minutes. One every two games. The last objective – not easy, not impossible – before saying goodbye to Milanello is to reach 50. For someone who arrived as a simple reserve to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, that’s not bad.

Tags AC Milan Olivier Giroud


  1. Great servant and deserves a good farewell as we all seemingly agreed but right now on the pitch let’s concentrate more on players we can count on for the future. Ideally Okafor being the first choice striker in the retaining matches. If Giroud can score the three goals as a substitute to reach 50 in total great.

  2. He did his best, but the truth is the coach over relied on him, he is not a young player, so the coach should have used him sensibly, but for this past two seasons the Coach over used him, for his age he should have been used better, but right now if you watch him, you notice he has burnt out, because of misuse, he is completely drained, , but he scored some important goals, well done..

  3. Absolutely no qualms about Giroud. Has done really well given his age and has been good to the club. The only real 9 we’ve had since Inzaghi.

  4. Giroud exhibited personality traits that I would like to see in many more players at Milan and in football today; namely good values and a strong work ethic.

    I thought he did well at Milan, especially given that he came to Milan late in his career.

    Good luck in LA. Watch out for the ridiculous taxes in California. They are still trying to push a huge breathable air tax, just for breathing. As one of their govt officials said, breathable air and clean water is NOT a human right!

    Anyway, best wishes to Giroud and thank you.

    1. This. Cannot have hard feelings for him even if the last ~5 matches haven’t been as good as we hoped.

      He was the first decent (even great at times) #9 since Inzaghi and he retired like 20 years ago. 😀

      He will be missed. His goals. His assists. His working ethics. A true team player.

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