Before last night’s match against Arsenal, Frank Lampard had reflected on Chelsea’s recent two-match losing streak, blaming it on a “15 or 20 per cent” drop in levels of performance from the team.
Lampard didn’t put a number on the drop we saw at the Emirates, but it was surely something quite a bit bigger than 15 or 20, especially in the first half.
It was all wrong, from execution to attitude to effort. And Lampard didn’t shy away from placing that blame squarely on the players.
“Not good enough in the first half. Second half was better but we had too much to do at that point. Not good enough on the basics - sprints, pressing, running, speed of pass and trying to play. All the basics were wrong. [...] You can’t turn up with that lethargic [approach].
“I’m concerned about what’s at the bottom of it but I’m not sure it’s definitely complacency. The fact that matters is if you come and play slow on and off the ball you’ll have a big problem trying to get a result. So, again, you’re right — the message was clear. We had to attack it in the right way but we didn’t.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Unfortunately for Lampard, at the end of the day, it is squarely his responsibility to ensure that the players do not get it all wrong, that they get it all right. That is the job. And it’s one thing to have a one-off disaster, but it’s another to have three in four games, all away, with the one in-between a rather flattering 3-0 home win over West Ham.
With an in-form Aston Villa coming up Monday followed by a once again imperious Manchester City, we’d do well to ensure that this bad moment doesn’t turn into a straight up disaster. Over to you, Frank.