June 21, 2021

‘Things take time’ – Lampard still searching for solution to Chelsea defensive woes

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The Blues boss admitted that the team’s defending hasn’t been to a high enough standard but fixing those issues cannot be done at the snap of a finger

Frank Lampard admits that Chelsea need to get better defensively, but he also understands that it will take time for a new-look Blues team to find their chemistry.

The Blues have conceded nine goals in five games as they currently sit seventh in the Premier League with eight points earned.

And those nine goals come on the heels of a 2019-20 campaign that saw Chelsea concede 54 times, more than any other team in the top 10.

With new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell brought in to improve the defence, Chelsea have taken a step towards rectifying that problem but, with both newcomers missing matches already this season, Lampard says that it will take some time for everyone to settle in and understand defending as a unit.

“I keep talking about the need for work and how things take time,” Lampard said. “We’re playing with new players coming into the squad and it’s understandable at this stage of the season where there are moments in games when I talk about game management and the need to go longer, mix our game up.

“It’s something that obviously has to be worked on with time. Things like Southampton at the weekend are a lesson to be learnt in real-time.

“We don’t have so much time with the players so far this season and that will come. We need to make sure the lessons are learnt quickly and the players are very aware of that. “

While Chelsea have had trouble keeping out goals under Lampard, they have done well in terms of limiting opponents’ chances. 

Lampard pointed to a statistic that says Chelsea have conceded the second-fewest shots in the Premier League under him, with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga often being criticised for his role in goals the Blues have conceded.

Chelsea made a move to rectify that this summer, bringing in Edouard Mendy as the Blues look to take a step forward defensively, but Lampard says he does understand that it takes more than a new goalkeeper to fix the problem.

“In terms of the goals conceded, I am aware of the stats. The other stat is that since I’ve been here, we’ve conceded the second least shots in the Premier League behind Man City,” Lampard said. 

“It helps sometimes to narrow down the issues. The issues are that we don’t concede many shots on goal but when we do, we concede goals.

“It’s something we’re aware of. We’re aware of it when we look at recruitment and more than that you’re aware of the need to work on the pitch with the players to ensure that when we hopefully set up well we don’t concede many chances but, when we do concede chances, we let in too many.

“It’s something we work on specifically. Of course, we want to concede less goals, as do all the teams at the moment. There are teams that are conceding a lot of goals in the Premier League and we’re all in a similar position to a degree at the moment. It’ll always be something we work on as much as we do our attacking play.”