Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is usually calm and composed sometimes even giving a smile on intriguing questions asked during press conference. However, there was a visible anger and disappointment when his team let a late goal in again to draw 2-2 with Arsenal.
Frank Lampard said “I am disappointed given the situation of the game. We completely deserved to go 1-0 up. For a little bit after that we were getting used to them with 10 men. But we created enough chances in the second half, it was just the same old story, we couldn’t take them. In football basic errors can cost you points. I’m not a massive believer in looking at the age. Do we have to have a better shot conversion, yes. I have spoken about that a lot. You can’t say we will definitely sign a striker this month but we are looking because there is a fine line in football. If you don’t score enough goals then you won’t win enough games. It’s a tough run coming up. It’s frustrating because you can’t say we played terribly. That’s just as important though. We have to get that right. I am pleased to be fourth but we should have a lot more points with the way we have been playing. When gameday comes you have to have the killer instinct. We’ve not got that at the moment. We might be a bit young and a bit of transition about us but we have to have that quality. It’s nothing on the crowd, that’s about us.”
The only positive point for Frank Lampard after the draw is a point gained is still a profit and increase in lead over other teams below them. This season other than Manchester Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City until recently, all the teams have looked as contender for champions league 4th spot. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea currently have a 6 point lead above others with an extra game played.
Frank Lampard admits he is out to silence doubters like Roy Keane by making a success of his Chelsea tenure. Keane sarcastically claimed Lampard has “all the answers for Chelsea” in a typically-pugnacious Sky Sports panel discussion with Jamie Carragher on Sunday. The former Manchester United captain questioned Lampard’s progress at Chelsea while defending Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s situation at Old Trafford, in the wake of Liverpool’s commanding 2-0 win over the Red Devils.
Frank Lampard said “I watched it, it was good viewing wasn’t it? It makes your ears prick up. I don’t think being English gives you any sort of a bye from criticism, in fact I’ve heard quite a lot when I first got this job of writing me off because I’m young and English and only had a year at Derby. I think that conversation was so quick that a lot was coming out. And fair play to Roy, I love watching him talk about football because of how passionate he is and to the point, but I don’t think I’ve had any byes for being English. I get the whole Derby one. I went to Derby with a team in a difficult place and we made a fantastic effort to get promoted. I don’t expect that to be a gauge of whether I should have got the Chelsea job or not. A lot of people want to question inexperience and it’s my job to do as well as I can here, so I put those questions to bed.”
Lampard was clearly not in favor of getting distracted by clashing with Roy Keane but revealed his surprise that his name cropped up in the discussion.
There has been very little to be critical of Frank Lampard for in terms of team selection this season. He’s played young players, changed things up when necessary and worked injured stars back into the side slowly. Generally it’s been impressive how quickly his vision of the club lined up with that of the fans – at least those in the stadium. His decisions, while not always correct, were logical. One could see his thinking, if not necessarily agree with it. However the slide in form of Chelsea in recent matches has moved beyond striker’s inability to score goals , take chances or mistakes by goalkeeper. The last two games have seen a truly puzzling call from the Chelsea manager.
Mateo Kovacic, who has at times this season stepped up from being a smooth midfield cog to become a goalscoring, dominant attacking midfielder, was left on the bench in both matches. He didn’t play a minute of either. Kovacic is a vital creative link between midfield and attack in this team, and his dribbling ability would have added a lot to the team as they sought to break down a sturdy Newcastle structure. Kovacic would have added so much more to the team than Mason Mount, who was very poor and looks in need of period on the bench.