Frank Lampard not expecting any player power problems despite Chelsea struggles

Nick Purewal, PA
·3-min read

Frank Lampard does not fear any player power problems at Stamford Bridge despite Chelsea’s stuttering form.

The Blues boss conceded he cannot keep all his players happy all the time given Chelsea’s talent-laden squad.

The 42-year-old admits he expects players who find themselves out of the side to be frustrated, but wants those on the fringes to do their talking on the training pitch to force their way into his starting XI.

Chelsea v Manchester City – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Frank Lampard, pictured, knows Chelsea’s form must improve from four defeats in six Premier League matches (Ian Walton/PA)

Lampard was central to Chelsea’s most influential squad in his playing pomp, running the dressing room along with fellow senior professionals like John Terry and Ashley Cole.

While a clutch of managers had varying degrees of success in building relationships with that star player nucleus, Lampard now insists those dynamics were often overplayed.

The former England midfielder is under pressure in west London after four defeats in six Premier League games, but remains adamant his players are not about to cause him any untoward concerns.

“Having been in those squads I can say clearly how sometimes that the player power phrase got relayed to the open world and what was going on inside was not always the same thing,” said Lampard.

“I hate relating back to my time with the club because everyone will get bored with that, particularly the players.

“Where we are at the minute is we have been off the pace of winning the Premier League for a few years.

“When you are in a rebuild you are searching for anything that can help this squad grow. When it is growing there are tough times. They have to react, they have to get over it.

“The players have to do that. I am looking closely at the players, as I look at myself because the players will do it on the pitch but I am always at the forefront of it.

“It’s a big ask to ask players fresh to this club to be the players that have been here many years and have seen it all before.

“Other teams in the Premier League have that, we do not.

“So that’s the first part of player power. The other part is the people talking negatively.

“I never came into this job thinking for one minute that I’m going to have a squad of 25 players or so who are going to be saying ‘I love not playing football’.

“I realised pretty quickly in this job that whether we win or lose there will be players who will be wanting to play.

“Some will use that with real positivity, some maybe not so much.”

Chelsea host Morecambe in Sunday’s FA Cup third round bidding to hit back to form after last weekend’s demoralising 3-1 home loss to an inspired Manchester City.

Lampard might be feeling the squeeze to set the Blues back on track, but insisted his players are not adding to that pressure.

“All I can say is that the players here have a real desire to get out of this mini run of bad results; I can see that in them,” said Lampard.

“Players who are not playing will not be happy, but the basic matter of it is I have to pick a team that goes out.

“The quality is in the group, without a doubt.

“There will be bumpy moments. Then what we have to do is stick together.”