Lampard demands ‘more aggression’ from Chelsea as Wolves jolt Blues
Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to banish the lethargic moments that are costing them after seeing Wolves grit their teeth for a 1-0 win over the Blues at Molineux.
It took a stunning 31st-minute goal from Matheus Nunes to get the better of Chelsea in what was caretaker boss Lampard’s first game of his second spell at the helm.
Lampard featured in the most successful team in Chelsea’s history, with the Englishman ending his career as the club’s record scorer, which was no mean feat for a midfielder.
He was a tireless presence in the Chelsea team, and he wants to see the same energy and concentration from the current breed of players, believing it has been lacking at times.
“We know we’re not in the position we want to be and there is always a reason for it,” Lampard said. “I was aware of that, and I did not expect to solve everything in one day.
“If you’re analysing it, in a Premier League game you have to have more aggression in your game, more speed, more competitive duels that go your way, rather than the opposition.
“That is baseline stuff against a team fighting for their Premier League lives. It will always dictate the result of the game, regardless of the talent.
“There was a little bit of that today and the players need to be aware of that, because without that you can’t win games and you can’t be the team that Chelsea has been at different times, and we want to get back to.”
He added: “I am here to help with that, and this is not stinging criticism, but what are the reasons we can be like that at times?
“I know there is a lot of talent there in the squad, I have seen that in the last couple of days, and I look forward to working more with it.”
Chelsea’s lack of a specialist striker once more cost them as they lacked a focal point for their attacking, with Kai Havertz again the nominal centre forward.
Havertz is arguably better deployed in a midfield role and gave Wolves few causes for concern.
Real Madrid will have hardly been petrified by what they saw either, ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Lampard’s men on Wednesday.
Lampard rested N’Golo Kante, whose return from a hamstring injury lay-off is being carefully managed, but the Frenchman should line up at the Santiago Bernabeu.
There was a pre-match blow on Saturday when Mason Mount was ruled out by what Lampard confirmed was continuing pelvic trouble.
Lampard, having been sacked in January by Everton, relished his return to touchline duty with Chelsea, if not the result.
“I am very happy to be back,” he said. “But I’m disappointed I could not give the fans a win in the first game back.
“But we go again and have a huge game waiting for us on Wednesday in the Champions League, and I am very excited about that.”
Wolves, meanwhile, could face punishment from the Football Association after home fans were heard chanting “Chelsea rent boys” during the game.
The FA said in January it would consider the homophobic chant a breach of its rules that could lead to disciplinary action, while the Crown Prosecution Service has classed it as a hate crime.
Chelsea said in a statement on Saturday: “Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour totally unacceptable.
“It condemns the homophobic chanting by some home fans at Molineux this afternoon. Chelsea will continue to work closely with Chelsea Pride and the broader football community to eradicate these vile chants from our game.”
In a supportive message, the Premier League said the chant “has no place in football or society”.