Frank Lampard exclusive: Chelsea head coach admits more steps needed for side to become title contenders

Frank Lampard accepts turning Chelsea into Premier League title contenders is a gradual course of, however he’s content material with the progress made forward of the journey to Arsenal on Boxing Day, stay on Sky Sports.

Despite discovering themselves simply two factors behind Leicester in second place, Chelsea have made their second-worst begin after 14 Premier League video games throughout the Roman Abramovich period and presently sit fifth within the desk.

Lampard’s side have dropped factors in all three of their encounters towards the Big Six this season, and journey to the Emirates off the again of consecutive away defeats.

The solely earlier season the place Chelsea had fewer factors at this stage since Abramovich bought the membership in 2003 got here underneath Jose Mourinho in 2015-16, however Lampard is wanting on the larger image following final season’s fourth-place end.

“I’m happy but we always want more as managers,” Lampard informed Sky Sports when requested to assess Chelsea’s season to date.

Chelsea face Arsenal on the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day

“The actuality is initially of the season, we had some new gamers whereas others had been lacking, and we lacked a pre-season. Looking at our early outcomes, we noticed some good and a few not-so-good performances.

“We then went on a extremely good run which noticed quite a lot of enchancment within the crew, so I’m fairly blissful however we wish more. We need to be difficult for titles, however we’ve got to settle for typically that it is step-by-step. We’ve made some steps, however I really feel we’ve got the potential to make lots more.

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“If anything, this season has shown that most teams have had difficult moments and a large part of that comes down to preparation. Preparation for the season is something that we certainly didn’t have. We mustn’t get too far ahead of ourselves or too far down the line.

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“We have to consider the short-term and the video games in entrance of us and never be too reactionary after defeats final week and even wins and our unbeaten run. It’s about making continuous enchancment and that is essential for focus.

“It’s exhausting [to set a target]. It’s clear I ask them yearly to kick on – in my job, that is what you may have to do on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter what your state of affairs. Coming fourth for us was a optimistic final yr contemplating the circumstances round it however yearly seems totally different and each squad improves round us.

One step in the precise route has been the arrival of defender Thiago Silva

“We bought players in and some of them need time, so I don’t set long-term targets. We’re trying to bridge a gap that was clearly there in the last few seasons to Liverpool and Manchester City in terms of consistency. We’ve had our moments of consistency and good form but we have to work to get even more consistent so we can challenge.”

Chelsea have not misplaced three consecutive Premier League away video games since February 2019, a run which included a defeat at Arsenal, however following this month’s back-to-back defeats at Everton and Wolves, one other reverse on Saturday would equal that undesirable run.

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The Blues had been unbeaten of their first 5 away league video games this season, maintaining three clear sheets, so have the current losses in any approach altered Lampard’s method away from house?

He continued: “In the Premier League, in case you drop your ranges ever so barely when it comes to power and urgency in our recreation – which we did… we dropped by about 15 per cent – you can not win. It was an actual sturdy lesson for the crew, significantly towards Wolves.

“Against Everton, they’re a tough opposition but I don’t feel we should’ve lost the game. Against Wolves, we didn’t look ourselves, so it was important we got the result against West Ham, where I felt the focus of the team was very good.”

Chelsea’s 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday Night Football was the primary time within the Premier League this season that Lampard’s crew had overwhelmed a side which began the day within the high half of the desk.

Indeed, their away report in 2020 towards sides who completed within the Premier League’s high half final season leaves lots to be desired, with their solitary win this calendar yr coming at Burnley, who completed tenth final time period.

They had beforehand solely scored 4 objectives within the six matches performed towards groups within the high 10, however the Blues boss refused to attribute any significance to that run being damaged.

Defeat at Everton ended Chelsea's 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions

“I read about that stat a lot pre-West Ham and I think this year has shown that the balance of the Premier League has changed. Anybody can beat anybody, whether you’re at the top or at the bottom,” Lampard mentioned.

“Leeds were in the bottom half when we played them, and that was a really tough match. They’ve given some big teams really tough matches. I think it’s a bit of a red herring as a stat to look at games against the top half compared to the bottom half of the table.”

Lampard revealed that each Reece James and Ben Chilwell have “their own injury issues” with each uncertain for the journey to Arsenal this weekend. James is nursing a knee downside whereas Chilwell sustained an ankle harm after simply 4 minutes of the 3-0 victory over the Hammers.

Chelsea’s form was altered by the absence of two of the Premier League season’s most spectacular full-backs, and Lampard acknowledges that his side might have to change their method over the hectic festive schedule given the seemingly change in personnel.

“We can’t give a clear answer at the minute on whether Ben or Reece will be able to play against Arsenal. The next 48 hours will give us a clearer picture,” Lampard mentioned.

“It may change how we play only slightly. It’s a big ask when a player has to come on, as was the case with Emerson, but I thought he did well in the game against West Ham. We work a lot as a team in training on similar movements and patterns, depending on the opposition or depending on what we feel are our fundamentals.

“If they supply a slight adaptation, then we’ll make them, however I do not suppose they are going to be enormous ones.”

‘Werner type, Havertz high quality will come’


Frank Lampard says it is a matter of time earlier than Timo Werner begins scoring more objectives for Chelsea.

One participant who has are available for some criticism is Timo Werner. The Germany striker has scored eight Chelsea objectives since his £53m change from RB Leipzig, however the 24-year-old has now gone 9 video games with out discovering the web in all competitions and has missed quite a lot of effective possibilities.

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Werner lately admitted that he underestimated the transition to the Premier League, however Lampard is in little question that the ahead will come good.

“We at all times do further ending in coaching and I really feel it is crucial to do particular work for strikers. I by no means felt you may rating freely on the weekend in case you did not work on it all through the week, in order that’s a giant a part of what we do.

Timo Werner has solely scored as soon as in his final seven Premier League appearances

“Timo has had a period where it hasn’t gone for him and strikers get judged on goals. He’s getting into positions very regularly and I feel that once he gets a goal or two, we’ll see many more from him. We’re working hard in training as we always do.”

Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic have all been absent for durations of time this season, which means Kai Havertz’s teething issues have been uncovered when it might effectively have been absorbed had Lampard been in a position to use his full vary of attacking choices.

Havertz suffered a setback earlier this time period when he was sidelined with coronavirus, however having been nameless within the defeat at Wolves, the place he failed to create a single likelihood or have a shot, Lampard was once more eager to contextualise the midfielder’s difficult begin to life at Stamford Bridge.

Kai Havertz has to date supplied only one help from his 12 league appearances

“When Kai arrived, he played his first game for us after just four or five days of training. It was really difficult for him early on because he didn’t have a pre-season with a new team, with a new coach and in a new country.

“He was simply beginning to play very well when he caught Covid and had fairly heavy signs with it. It has taken him a while to recuperate, however he is getting again to a greater place now. He’s a extremely proficient participant, an awesome younger lad with an awesome perspective.

“I certainly have huge confidence that he’s going to be a really big player for the club. It’s important that we remain patient in the short term, but Kai is a huge talent.”

Lampard prepared to face the very best Arsenal


Frank Lampard defended Mikel Arteta and insists Arsenal are nonetheless harmful regardless of their poor run of type.

Arsenal sit 10 locations and 11 factors behind Chelsea, however Lampard insists that his side’s opponents on Boxing Day stay a high quality crew. The Gunners misplaced this actual fixture 2-1 final season, regardless of being 1-0 forward till the 83rd minute. That was Mikel Arteta’s first house recreation in cost, revealing the size of his process, however the Spaniard enters the most recent renewal underneath strain.

Arsenal have failed to win any of their final seven Premier League video games and can equal their report winless run in the event that they fail to beat Chelsea, however Lampard hopes his reverse quantity is given time, no matter the stage of his managerial profession.


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“Expectations are higher at clubs like the ones we are both managing, but I don’t think it’s a case of him being a young manager. I see him as a very talented manager, and we’ve seen examples of clubs who have built really strong squads over the last three or four years. The dominant teams over that period, Manchester City and Liverpool, have had time to work and improve the squad.

“They went via powerful moments, they usually got time to enhance via these moments. It’s solely then that you just actually study gamers, the crew and the squad as an entire. I’m not speaking particularly about Mikel right here, however simply typically within the Premier League.


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over West Ham

“If you come into a club that’s going through a period of certain transition, I think it’s very understandable there will be lots of situations and work that you need to do in order to get the club where you want it to be. It’s not all rosy as that’s not football.

“That’s not to do with the supervisor. I feel Mikel is a extremely proficient coach and supervisor, and his crew are actually simply going via a current patch of inauspicious type. That’s very commonplace within the Premier League as it is a very powerful league. I’ve obtained enormous respect for Mikel and for Arsenal. They have a high quality set of gamers and that is the crew I’m making ready for on Boxing Day.”

How to observe Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal vs Chelsea within the Premier League is stay on Sky Sports on Boxing Day

Arsenal vs Chelsea will likely be broadcast stay on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off at 5.30pm. Sky Sports clients can watch in-game clips within the stay match weblog on the Sky Sports web site and app. Free highlights may also be printed on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the ultimate whistle.

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