Lampard gives ultimatum to Chelsea’s struggling stars

Frank Lampard’s second reign at Stamford Bridge started with a defeat against Wolves at Molineux. Matheus Nunes’ wondergoal just after the half-hour mark was the deciding factor despite accruing a multitude of goal attempts by the Blues.

The Stamford Bridge faithful had hoped for an immediate impact following Lampard’s appointment but it was not the case. The Chelsea legend stirred up the first team with a return to four at the back and Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher earned starting slots.

Lampard was left fuming at the end of action. He told his players to show up with aggression in their coming games or not bother at all. Calling for a combined effort in their coming games, he also praised the Wolves for their approach to the game.

“If you’re worried, don’t come, the players shouldn’t be. Kovacic has won two champions leagues, or if you’ve just arrived, you’re here for a reason,” Lampard commented.

“I’m not saying the squad doesn’t have the aggression, it’s bringing it together. We were up against an aggressive team today. It has to be said to be dealt with. Wednesday will be a different game,” the 44-year-old explained.

Struggling to play Lampard-ball

Chelsea dominated the proceedings with 62% possession and had twice the xG at 1.16 over the Wolves. They were wasteful in the chances created, managing 13 goal attempts but only had one shot on goal.

Frank Lampard

Despite having the majority of the ball, the inability to give their best-showcased deficiencies in the roster. The Blues found it difficult to play the ball out from the back and Lampard knows it will be some time before they start firing on all cylinders.

“My job is to work with the team to give the idea of what I want. I was reliant on the players today a little bit and giving some messaging, we saw bits of it,” the Chelsea record goalscorer shared. “I think our players can all accept the ball, you need to find the right solutions and the right ideas. You have to have options where you can play over the press.

“Somewhere it the middle. Four or five days ago I was planning different stuff – that is surreal. Managing Chelsea doesn’t feel too different; The practical side is what matters to me. Disappointed I couldn’t give the fans a win.”

Salvation in the Champions League

As it stands, Chelsea are 11th on the points table. While the top-six register victories in succession, the Blues are on a four-match winless streak. They are eight points adrift of sixth-placed Aston Villa and need to cover the gap in the final eight matches of the season.

Their final run-in does not have any easy fixtures for them. They play Arsenal, Brighton, Brentford, Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle in this period. All teams that stand above them on the points table.

Their only play for Champions League continuity stands on the slim chance of them winning it. They will have to overcome Real Madrid, whom they play at Stamford Bridge in midweek. Failure to do so will result in the season being rendered a failure and sights being set at what 2023/24 will bring.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!