Lampard looks to Liverpool in search of set-piece answer

Date published: Saturday 4th July 2020 10:08

Frank Lampard Jurgen Klopp Chelsea Liverpool

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could look to Liverpool and Virgil van Dijk to solve his club’s set-piece problems.

The Blues were beaten 3-2 by West Ham in midweek, conceding from both of the corners they faced at the London Stadium.

Chelsea have allowed goals from 8.2% of the corners they have conceded in the Premier League this season, second only to Amiens across Europe’s top five leagues.

Premier League winners and losers

Liverpool encountered similar issues under Jurgen Klopp but the signing of Van Dijk helped immensely, which Lampard has already taken note of.

“We’ve looked at set-pieces this season,” said Lampard.

“When we came into the club we looked at the stats from last season. We were bottom of the league defending set-plays, in terms of teams getting big chances against us, and second bottom in attacking.

“So we looked at that. It’s not just a reference to last season because we haven’t improved much this year.

“If you look at personnel, and I really don’t like to talk about my own playing days, but we didn’t work much at all on set-pieces, certain managers more than others, and there were a few reasons – mainly John Terry, Gary Cahill, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Branislav Ivanovic.

“So you’d stick it in an area and they would defend it or score goals.

“Similarly with Liverpool, I remember a lot of talk about them and set-pieces a few seasons ago. They were zonal and conceding a lot.

“They signed Virgil Van Dijk and he heads out everything that comes in the box. So there’s a huge relation to personnel.

“And if you don’t have that size across the team, the main thing is trying to compete as hard as you can and making it difficult for other teams to score.

“But there’s no doubt and I’m not making excuses because we haven’t done that well enough on the pitch and that has to improve.

“When you look at who you might bring in with the balance of the squad, in the modern day, it is certainly something to take into account when you’re looking at recruitment.”

Could Declan Rice be the answer? Only if they put their potential ’embarrassment’ aside.


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