Dramatic exclusive from The (No Rumors, Just Facts) Athletic just now, detailing some saucy drama between Frank Lampard and Marcos Alonso after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.
The report from Simon Johnson and David Ornstein credits “insiders” for revealing that Frank Lampard was the “the angriest they’ve ever seen him” after learning that Marcos Alonso did not rejoin the team after being taken off at half-time, instead going to the team bus after his early shower, before eventually returning to the stadium but sitting in a different place than he would’ve been expected.
Back in the dressing room after the match, Lampard “lambasted Alonso for his actions in front of stunned team-mates”. That’s a line fit for a tabloid, and it only gets worse from there, with the report citing a “source” for a claim that Alonso may never play for Chelsea ever again.
A few of us spotted Marcos Alonso in the temporarily disused press room at The Hawthorns early in the second half on Saturday. It seemed strange.— Steve Madeley (@SteveMadeley78) September 28, 2020
Mystery solved by @SJohnsonSport and @David_Ornstein #WBA https://t.co/OTWimQ23r6
There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence for this, with Lampard making no attempts to play down the impact of Alonso’s mistakes in his post-match comments, putting both the first and third goals squarely on the left back’s shoulders. Lampard, who usually doesn’t single out players for criticism in public, also didn’t hide Thiago Silva’s role in the calamity, but in his case, made sure to add something along the lines of Thiago holding his hand up, taking responsibility, and getting a free pass since it was his first Premier League start.
That may be reading too much into things, but there’s also been an emphasis from not only the boss but the players as well about togetherness. Everyone’s in this the same, or at least should be.
So, assuming this is true, have we seen the last of Marcos Alonso? That seems unlikely, though we do have one too many left backs at the moment.
It had looked like Emerson would be the one to make way after Ben Chilwell’s arrival, but in terms of squad planning, it would make much more sense for the older Alonso to leave. But Alonso does have three years left on his contract, and that makes it not easy to move him, especially in this market. Chelsea have barely been able to make any progress in Emerson’s case, and he’s younger, on lower wages, and a shorter contract.
Alonso trained with the squad today, as normal. We’re all professionals here, right? Mistakes can be made, and they can be put right. One incident usually does not decide a player’s fate, even if it makes for a good headline. It can be used as a teaching moment, and it’s not like we don’t know Alonso’s strengths and weaknesses by now.
We have a week to sort this mess out.