Joe Cole has criticised Timo Werner’s wayward finishing following Chelsea’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Rennes and says he hopes Frank Lampard can convince Olivier Giroud to stay at the club beyond January.
Second-half substitute Giroud scored with a towering 91st-minute header after Werner’s initial effort was saved and the late goal secured Chelsea’s place in the Champions League knockout stage with two matches to spare.
Serhou Guirassy had earlier cancelled out Callum Hudson-Odoi’s 22nd-minute strike to set up a tense finish in the Group E clash.
Mason Mount revealed that he gave Werner a small telling off for his finishing in the first half of Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle and the forward was again left red-faced after somehow firing the ball into the stands from near point-blank range in the 4th minute at Roazhon Park.
Werner also had a tame shot saved by Alfred Gomis in the build-up to Chelsea’s winner and the German will have breathed a sigh of relief as Giroud’s header hit the back of the net.
Discussing the visitors’ last-gasp goal on BT Sport, ex-Chelsea winger Cole said: ‘It was a real open moment and Werner, again…
‘It was a great header from Giroud, he’s got up but Werner, in this position, you’d like him to be a little more clinical.
‘That’s where the improvement will come with his game.
‘But this header from Giroud was amazing.’
Giroud has been vocal with his frustrations over a lack of game-time at Chelsea this season and will have been determined to prove a point after replacing Tammy Abraham in the 69th minute.
The Frenchman knows his place in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the European Championships is potentially at risk and Frank Lampard promised to boost his minutes in the aftermath of his heroics at Roazhon Park.
On Giroud’s desperation for more playing time, Cole said: ‘It’s a big test for Frank now because Olivier Giroud, it’s special for him to play for France.
‘He’s a World Cup winner and his manager’s told him he needs to play in January.
‘Frank knows what a great lad he is and what a great servant he’s been to the club and how much he produces when he’s called upon.
‘It’s a real tough decision Frank’s got to make because Giroud’s such a good professional and more importantly such a good effective player for the club.
‘I’d love to see him stay because that won’t be the last time he bails Chelsea out off the bench.
‘He’s one of the most underrated players we’ve seen in the last five years in the Premier League.’