Frank Lampard has handed Olivier Giroud only his third Premier League start of the season (Picture: Getty)

Glenn Hoddle admits he has been baffled by Frank Lampard’s treatment of Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud this season.

The 33-year-old emerged as a crucial component of the side which finished in the top four and won the Europa League last season under Maurizio Sarri.

Giroud, however, has been underused by Lampard despite the goals having dried up for Tammy Abraham who misses out against Tottenham this afternoon with an ankle injury.

Michy Batshuayi started on Monday against Manchester United but endured a difficult evening as Lampard’s side slipped to a damaging 2-0 defeat which blew the race for the top four wide open.

The Belgium international has been dropped to the bench with Lampard opting to hand only a third Premier League start of the season to Giroud, who was coveted by Spurs during the January transfer window, and Hoddle feels the Frenchman’s opportunity is long overdue.

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‘I am surprised Giroud hasn’t played more football under Frank,’ Hoddle told BT Sport.

‘I think last year he was excellent he is a great sub who does well when he comes on. He brought him on the other night against United but he didn’t really have any other options.

‘When he comes on I think he’s a threat. He’s starting today he’s now got an opportunity to say to the manager I’m better than what you think

‘He knows his future isn’t going to be here so inside himself he’ll be relaxed and if he’s under less pressure sometimes players play better when they are like that.’

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