Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has moved to dismiss the suggestion that the imminent reinforcements to his squad have served as a distraction, after the Blues were dealt an alarming defeat by Sheffield United this past weekend.
Chelsea in disarray
Lampard’s men made the trip to Bramall Lane on Saturday evening, for their latest Premier League outing.
The capital giants headed into the clash on the back of a pair of consecutive wins over the week prior, though the nature of the 2nd (a nervy 3-2 downing of Crystal Palace) had seen an air of uncertainty begin to surround Chelsea’s squad.
And to say that their subsequent display versus Sheffield United did little to put to bed such question marks would be putting it lightly.
An abysmal all-round showing eventually saw the visitors put to the sword by 3 goals to nil at Bramall Lane.
David McGoldrick put Chris Wilder’s men in front with his first Premier League goal early on, before Oli McBurnie’s header was followed by another McGoldrick strike 15 minutes from time to send Chelsea back to London with their tails firmly between their legs.
Highlights: Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea
‘Focus on yourself’
On the back of his side’s worrying defeat, meanwhile, Frank Lampard was unsurprisingly grilled by the expectant media during a follow-up interview earlier today.
And one particular question put to the Chelsea boss has since garnered widespread attention.
With the Blues having looked so fragile on Saturday, to the point where it almost appeared as though there was an issue amongst the players, whispers had since begun to circulate that certain members of Chelsea’s squad may have become unsettled by the incoming reinforcements at Stamford Bridge.
The Londoners of course took the unusual step to secure and announce the signings of both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner mid-season, with the competition for places in Lampard’s squad set to move up a notch next season.
The Blues’ manager, though, is very much of the opinion that players at a top club should expect to have to fight for a starting berth, meaning imminent arrivals should in no way prove a distraction:
‘If you want to be a Chelsea player and be in the Chelsea team and squad and fight for the Premier League, to fight in Europe and to fight for trophies you have to focus on yourself.’
‘At the moment, going into this season, we were 30-odd points off the top two last season. If you want that gap to close, you have to focus on yourself. If players come in, that should be the nature of the beast playing for Chelsea. It shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.’
Quotes via Goal
Kante ruled out
Along with the aforementioned insight, Lampard also provided a fitness update on Chelsea’s squad this morning.
The Pensioners are set to welcome Championship-bound Norwich City to Stamford Bridge tomorrow night, with a bounce-back victory widely expected.
Chelsea, though, will have to make do without the services of N’Golo Kante versus the Canaries, with the French midfielder having not yet recovered from a recent hamstring issue.
Andreas Christensen, on the other hand, will be available to feature:
On squad news for tomorrow, Lampard reports Kante is not fit. Christensen came off at half-time in Sheffield but he is fit to be in the squad. There are no other new injuries or fresh recoveries.#CHENOR
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 13, 2020
Watch Frank Lampard’s presser before Norwich
This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.
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