Not too long ago, Chelsea had not lost a single Premier League match in two months. Now, Chelsea have lost twice in the Premier League in the matter of eight days, following up last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad with a 1-0 defeat against West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
While most would be shocked, Frank Lampard is not like most. He’s seen it all as a player, after all. He’s more "disappointed". Disappointed with the result. Disappointed with the play. Disappointed with the players.
"Shocked isn’t the word. The Premier League is what it is. Disappointed more than shocked.
"No I don’t think [we made too many changes]. Tammy was enforced. At the same time I have to think about the squad and when we have a taxing game, I have to think about how fresh we are right now. We can’t get through the season with 10 or 11 players. We performed below par.
"[Our depth] will pan out itself over the course of the season. I still believe in the squad. That will be questions that will be asked. I do believe in the squad. There isn’t a time for harsh reactions or judgements. It is a look for a bit of character."
Coming off a 2-2 draw in Champions League against Valencia just 72 hours ago, Lampard understandably made four changes to the lineup in addition to the injury-enforced change at striker that saw Olivier Giroud start a match for the first time since Matchday 2 in August. Pedro was also unearthed from the depths, while Emerson replaced Azpilicueta, Tomori replaced Christensen, and Mount came in for Kanté.
Unfortunately, Chelsea couldn't convert their chances, regardless of who was at the end of them. We clearly missed Tammy Abraham, both in build-up and in the box, but finishing chances is not just Tammy's job. It's a team game and we, as a team, need to improve on that.
"It’s not down to one player. We didn’t have enough quality in the final third. My gripe this season is that we are not converting enough chances.
"Generally, collectively we could have handled that game better. This isn’t the worst thing for us as long as we react in the right way. There will be moments like this. We weren’t going to be Invincibles, we have to pass little tests. We can do more going forward."
-Frank Lampard; Source: Football.London
This was certainly a wake up call, though we’ve been hitting the snooze button for a while now.
The loss against Manchester City could be accepted due to their quality, even if they have been faltering for a few weeks now. This loss, against West Ham at home, a team who hadn’t won a match since September in all competitions, is quite concerning.
We need to improve and we need to improve quickly, and not just in our conversion of chances but defensively as well — neither of those issues are new of course.
Next up for Chelsea is a midweek fixture against Aston Villa in Premier League. It has now become a must-win.