Frank Lampard addressed the media ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Arsenal on Tuesday night at the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea have lost all five games under Lampard since he was appointed caretaker manager last month and they are in real danger of extending the losing run to six games as they make the trip across the capital.
Arsenal have fallen from their perch at the top of the Premier League after four games without a win. A damaging 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last week has put a huge dent in their title aspirations and Mikel Arteta’s side will be desperately wanting a win over Chelsea to keep their slim hopes still alive.
Meanwhile, the Blues were beaten by Brentford last time out, who were winless in six prior to the encounter, and Chelsea are also in danger of suffering the league double to Arsenal, who won 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge back in November.
Chelsea have six games left of their Premier League campaign and need to ensure they pick up some points between now and the end of the season to alleviate some of the pressure growing following a disastrous season. That starts against Arsenal as they eye their first win since March 11.
Here is what the Chelsea head coach said on Monday morning ahead of the London derby.
“Out for a while still (Koulibaly). It’ll be a tight call for the season, to be fair. He’s working away. Been impressed as a professional, doing his job very well. Unfortunately the injury was a tough one. Cucurella probably another two weeks or so. It was a two or three week injury when he did it. Mason and Reece you know (out). Kai Havertz is in contention for the game, he’s trained.”
“We’ll see, I’ve got Auba, Kai, David Fofana. I won’t divulge the team. He’s fit and ready. Possibly, because we all think a player going back to their old club gives a certain motivation. I’ll pick that position on my feeling on how they’ve trained and what the team structure looks like.”
Good time to play Arsenal after four without a win?
“It could be either way. Very much in the hunt still to win the Premier League. Fantastic team, who have had a great season. If they’re wounded they could have a big reaction, if we can make things difficult for them, it could feel different. Hard one to call.”
State of club, are Chelsea in distress?
“We’re not in a great moment. It can be pretty normal of moments of tough periods. We have to put perspective on it. We have to work on all aspects as a club to get back to the feeling and position of where we want to be.
“Our job is to work on performance and mentality of the group, to try bring back good feeling. I was very aware of the challenges. Reality of football is, your career will not be full of successes. People will always the successes, but part of the job is the tougher moments whether you’re a manager or player. You can’t always control results, but you can control how you work everyday.”
Working on the confidence of squad
“They are low on confidence and also low on performance, so I shouldn’t make it all on confidence. You can only work to get a level of performance to then bring confidence back. Nobody likes losing games. I had moments here as a player where we dropped as a collective, and we had to lift it. We managed to get it back through hard work, level of the squad. We changed manager a lot in some of those periods.
“It’s different now (eras). The modern player, squad that we have, what expectations are. The only thing we can do is consider the moment now and future as a club. Work hard to get the squad where we want it, also to get the players performing so that confidence word is a not a big word like I’m using in my press conference every week. At a club like this, you should work hard, you shouldn’t be talking about team confidence. It’s clearly an issue at the minute which needs to be addressed. It only gets addressed with self responsibility to make it better.
Taunts from Brentford fans, Chelsea fans defending him
“I’ve enjoyed that (connection with Chelsea fans). It’s normal, I expect that from Brentford fans in that moment of good feeling for them. I certainly won’t moan about that.”
Replicating Real Madrid performance
“Every game is different, tactically. In terms of togetherness that connected on the pitch, the first 60 minutes versus Madrid was very, very good other than the last bit, so we have to find that last bit. We have to be connected and show that same motivation and energy because Arsenal are a fantastic team, with very good players and a great team ethic. We have to match that as a start to try to get a result.”
“I like Jorgi, he’s a very, very good player. A good personality in the dressing room to drive the team. If he plays, he’s another good player in that squad. That’s the options that teams challenging for titles have.”
Arsenal making massive leap this season. Core of group growing together and reaching that level at Chelsea?
“It’s interesting to compare the Arsenal story. We all had a little insight in the Amazon series. When you see what they are producing now… there is a long process to get to where you want to get to.
“I remember playing against Mikel’s teams in the early stages… now they have a very, very clear identity, clear recruitment, change of squad. There has been a lot of work to that, through Mikel, alignment and good recruitment.
“Do we have the possibility to do that? Yes. Will it take a lot of time and good decisions along the way? Absolutely yes. But you can get there.
“It’s a credit to Arsenal. The manager, owners and players were being questioned. That process can take two to three years which it has done. Within that, you have to make a lot of right decisions. It’s great to see a club stick with a manager when maybe at another club they may have changed a manager two or three times.”
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