Here’s a fun fact for you: Frank Lampard, Chelsea legend, is the head coach at Chelsea Football Club.
That means his primary focus is winning games for, you guessed it, Chelsea Football Club. That also means his primary focus is not on winning games for France or Belgium.
That shouldn’t have to be pointed out, nor should it be a surprise to anyone now that it has been, and yet, this line of questioning tends to come up fairly regularly. Not just at Chelsea, of course, but it’s Chelsea we care about.
For Chelsea and Lampard, the current case concerns Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, both of whom have been strongly encouraged by their national teams to look for minutes ahead of next summer’s Euro 2020. But as much as Lampard might be sympathetic to their plight, his lineup decisions will not be influenced by them. Again, this shouldn’t have to be pointed out, but what would we do without the daily churn of banal football media coverage? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
“[No pressure,] not at all. It is difficult for me and it is difficult for them. We both have our jobs, so it doesn’t feature in my thinking. I have to care for all the players. I have to pick the squad as I see it for the best of Chelsea, as they do for their countries.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Guardian
To their credit, neither Michy nor OG have made a scene (that public talk is purely from their respective national team bosses) and both have had their moments off the bench. Lately, it’s been Batshuayi who’s picked up the scoring habit (3 in this last 4 appearances), but Giroud’s veteran leadership is an asset that should not be discarded too readily either. It would however be surprising to see both of them stick around after January — no hard feelings, it’s just business and careers — especially if Tammy Abraham keeps up his goalscoring form.