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January 21, 2021

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Lampard unsure if he’ll keep Blues job

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said he expects his position to come under heavy scrutiny after the team lost 0-2 to Leicester City on Tuesday for a fifth loss in the last eight games in the English Premier League.

Chelsea, which spent nearly US$300 million on new players ahead of this season, dropped to eighth place and Lampard acknowledged he is under pressure to keep his job.

“It intensified for me a while ago,” said Lampard, who is one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players and all-time top scorer. “Because the expectations at this club, whether they are right or wrong, are always high.

“I know we are in a different position with our squad — if you look at our squad today and the age in our squad and look at the composition of our squad, it’s a mixture of a young squad, a lot of players, some new players. I keep talking about a transition but when you perform like that, it’s normal people will ask questions.”

Asked whether he was confident the club’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, would show patience with him, Lampard said: “It’s not my decision. That’s something that will always be there.

“When I came into this job, the job of management, you understand some things are beyond your control.”

Lampard said he was “worried” about his team, which was outplayed in all departments by a Leicester side that climbed to the top of the league, and he was concerned that his players didn’t do the ‘basics’.”

“From the form we were in, to get so quickly into the form we’re now in — we should be better than that. Five losses in eight isn’t where we want to be.

“It takes character to turn from that — I went with quite a young team today so they won’t be feeling nice. I’m not against the lads in the dressing room because they’re disappointed. They learned a lesson from a team playing well and we were that team a month ago.”

“There are moments,” he added, “you have to dig in and do the basics, and the bare minimum is to run and cover ground. Many of our players didn’t do it.”

Too often against Leicester there was a lack of intensity about Chelsea’s play.

There was also a worrying lack of attentiveness in defense with fullback Reece James jogging back and failing to stick with James Maddison before the Leicester midfielder scored the second goal.

Maddison noted after the match that the first goal had come from a short corner routine they had practised in training, in the knowledge that Chelsea has a tendency to switch off at set-pieces.

Lampard’s hope that its weekend victory at Fulham marked a turning point was short-lived and he is understandably concerned about the team’s form.

“It is clearly concerning. It is a period we are not happy with, other clubs have been in that period. All we can think about is getting through the period, working hard. The important thing is the players bounce back. This is the cut-throat nature of what it is,” he said.

Chelsea’s hierarchy is not known for showing great patience with its managers and questions will intensify about whether the club’s popular former midfielder is the right man for the job.


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