Alan Shearer couldn’t understand why Everton’s centre halves didn’t get closer to Olivier Giroud.

BBC pundit Alan Shearer said Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud ‘bullied’ Everton’s central defensive pairing of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate in yesterday’s 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2, 11:16pm, 08/03, Shearer couldn’t believe the amount of space Giroud was afforded to set the tone on a humbling afternoon for the Toffees.

He said: “He bullied the two centre halves, Holgate and Keane. They never got near him at all. It helps when they stand four or five yards off you, which was a constant all afternoon. Long balls up, he was too strong for both centre halves.

“Standing off, prepared to let him have that much space. This was all afternoon. He gave the two defenders a torrid time. How many times is it happening? It didn’t change second half either. They didn’t want to get tight. After 84 minutes, someone finally goes to try and tackle him. That’s how long it took.”

It’s not clear why Everton’s centre halves wouldn’t want to go that close to Giroud because it’s not like he’s got the pace to burst in behind. 

Willian and Pedro aren’t the quickest either, so the reluctance to get tight to Giroud and letting him take the ball in and feed others into play was baffling.

Whether it was an instruction from the manager or just Keane and Holgate’s own fears, it didn’t work at all and summed up how gutless Everton were as a whole.

Holgate may have harboured England hopes after an impressive recent run but Gareth Southgate would likely be alarmed by that performance yesterday, which also showed why Keane slipped out of the international reckoning earlier this season.


In other news, 'Move to England': 67-cap forward encouraged to join Wolves from bottom-placed side