Chelsea ‘fans’ angry with Liverpool, Man Utd target but Lampard gives Blues ‘hope for future’
Frank Lampard has continued his career-long feud but still offered Chelsea predictable ‘hope for the future’, even if ‘fans’ are furious with one young star.
After suffering a seventh defeat of his nine-game Chelsea interim reign – and a 20th loss in 32 matches as a Premier League manager this season – it was of great interest to Mediawatch to hear the thoughts of Frank Lampard on Thursday evening.
Lampard resisted the temptation to retire from management altogether, but could not avoid playing his greatest hits.
“When you come in this period you’re always just trying to get the basics there that you feel are short,” he said.
“If there’s something I’ve learned it’s that you have to get those basics right or nothing on top of that matters in terms of tactics and selection. All those things are at the end. The basics are there…are not…if the basics are not there. Which I knew that anyway, so I don’t think I’ve even learned that.”
It is up there with Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Kevin Keegan as one of history’s great speeches. It is a genuinely incredible quote. It is also indicative of Lampard’s seemingly lifelong struggle. And Mediawatch has the evidence:
“There are some things that you go ‘lads, they are the basics and they have to be better’. The team is low on confidence but it’s also underperforming in the basics. We have to do the basics better then we’ll get progress” – Lampard on May 3, after a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
“Not good enough. All the basic parts of football – to fight, to run – we were short on. Not a question of commitment as such. As a team we were short today. Where can we get better quickly? For me it’s the football basics” – Lampard on April 15, after a 2-1 defeat to Brighton.
“We’re not ready, we’re one man down but from a set piece you still need to control the basics” – Lampard on April 12, after a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.
“The game can change a little bit but you want to stick to those basics” – Lampard on April 7, at his first press conference back in the role of Chelsea manager.
“It wasn’t tactics – the tactics showed in the first 20 minutes because Palace couldn’t get out of their half. When you do things right within that structure then you will be all right, but if you can’t be clinical in front of goal then you won’t score goals or feel like you can score goals. If you allow people to stroll into your box and finish with ease, they will finish with ease. So it’s basics” – Lampard on March 21, 2022, after a 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
“It is important that I am the one who holds that dear and says, ‘Hey lads, the things that we were doing well, the identity we had that was winning games, it has not changed but we have to go back to something because we have lost some of the basics'” – Lampard on January 24, 2021, a day before his Chelsea sacking.
“Sometimes that relates to poor form but those are the moments you have to dig in and the basics and bare minimums are to run, to sprint and cover ground. Too many of our players didn’t do it” – Lampard on January 19, 2021, after a 2-0 defeat to Leicester.
“Football will punish you if you turn up and have that sort of lack of the basics in your game. That’s what I will be instilling in the players. It’s a case of bringing back the good basics. All the basics were wrong” – Lampard on December 27, 2020, after a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
“At the point in the game you go 2-1 up, you have got to do the basics right” – Lampard on January 21, 2020, after a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
A few things:
Why are Frank Lampard’s teams so inherently bad at “the basics”?
Why did Frank Lampard take the Chelsea job if he knew there was supposedly not enough time to implement “the basics” as well as Erik ten Hag has?
What does Frank Lampard interpret “the basics” as?
Whose responsibility is it to imprint “the basics” on Frank Lampard’s teams?
Is Frank Lampard and The Basics actually a phenomenal band name?
The kids are all right
It was incredibly easy to telegraph what the journalistic response to this defeat would be as soon as the teams were revealed and it was confirmed that Chelsea had named their youngest ever Premier League starting line-up.
Regardless of what followed, this was going to be heralded by some as a marker for youth development that his successor must follow. Think ‘Tuchel had better not mess Mount around,’ just somehow even less imaginative.
Fittingly enough, it is Henry Winter kicking us off on this theme in The Times:
‘Lampard, their caretaker enduring a wretched time, selected a side full of young players, nine 23 or younger, a glimpse of hope for the future if the incoming Mauricio Pochettino can organise and galvanise them.’
Is the bar for elite football management really low enough that praise is given literally just for *picking* some young players, regardless of the system or set-up they are put in?
‘United, meanwhile, continue to show the impact of an experienced, intelligent, demanding manager.’
Not sure Winter understands how accidentally incredibly and hilariously damning that is of the same Lampard he seeks to absolve of blame for all this.
READ MORE: Frank Lampard took a no-lose gig at Chelsea and still had his arse handed to him
The youth shall set you free
But Winter is not alone. James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph is also along for the ride, noting that ‘Frank Lampard gave youth its chance’.
And you could say that. You might also point out he gave them no chance with his tactical approach but still, the bloke picked some young players as he had literally nothing to lose in the penultimate game of an interim reign, and some have lapped it up.
‘Part of you asks how much crippled confidence is to blame; the rest wonders if some of these players are good enough for a club of Chelsea’s standing.’
None of you, of course, are left thinking whether Lampard might shoulder some responsibility for taking a team that was 11th, four points behind Liverpool, level with Fulham and nine ahead of Crystal Palace upon his appointment, to 12th, 23 points behind Liverpool, nine behind Fulham and one behind Palace with one game remaining.
And then there is Neil Custis of The Sun, who writes:
‘Mind you it didn’t matter who in this expensive bloated squad played, they all downed tools some time ago.’
Again, Chelsea were 11th when Lampard was appointed. Not great. Not at all. But in a table of league results since his first game, they are 18th. So it might be worth wondering why and when they ‘downed tools’, considering that phrase was almost definitely never used under Thomas Tuchel or Graham Potter.
Chris Wheeler adds in the Daily Mail:
‘But even a month short of his 45th birthday, Lampard would probably have done a better marking job than his players when United took a sixth-minute lead.’
The players have obviously been very bad indeed, but it does make you wonder who is ultimately in charge of organising, inspiring and generally leading them, never mind telling them what to do at corners.
Always look on the Brighton side of life
With all this in mind, The Sun website knows full well there is currency in negative Chelsea stories right now. Which leads us here:
‘Fuming Chelsea fans tell Levi Colwill ‘delete this’ after post following parent club’s defeat to Man Utd’
Apparently ‘CHELSEA supporters have advised Levi Colwill to delete a social media photo he posted in the aftermath of the club’s defeat at Manchester United.’ And here is the offending, clearly very offensive post.
Brilliant!!!!! https://t.co/o0MiOyvIe3 pic.twitter.com/Y1bKIrglBr
— Levi Colwill (@levi_colwill) May 25, 2023
That is, dear reader, difficult to even look at. Sorry, forgot the NSFW tag.
But there is a slight problem: despite the implication of plurality in the headline, literally just one Chelsea fan told the Liverpool and Man Utd target to ‘delete this’ in the replies to the post.
So no, ‘fuming Chelsea fans’ did nothing of the sort. One posted a meme saying ‘delete this’ and that was about it.
Also, Billy Gilmour might be surprised and incredibly disappointed to learn he is ‘also on loan at Brighton from the Blues’. Hopefully Brighton have at least refunded the £9m they paid to sign him in September.
Can you dig it?
‘Bruno Fernandes aims thinly-veiled Liverpool dig after Man Utd book Champions League spot’ – Daily Mirror website.
Go on, Bruno. Stick the knife in…
“We know that means a lot, for us it’s about getting our goals completed so we did. Obviously we knew [the fans] would be happy for Liverpool to not be there but for us it’s not about that, it’s getting the best we can for ourselves because we have to look after ourselves.”
Woah. Take it easy on them, fella.
Eyes on the surprise
‘Cristiano Ronaldo makes surprising Saudi league claim and drops hint on future’ – Daily Mirror website.
It truly is shocking to learn that a multi-millionaire athlete and incredibly egotistical individual reckons the league which is keeping him so well-remunerated and overindulged is “getting better” and will soon “be in the top five leagues in the world”.