Frank Lampard offers advice to Mauricio Pochettino before Chelsea move
Frank Lampard has urged incoming Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino to trim the squad and restore the quality of training sessions once he eventually arrives at Stamford Bridge.
Pochettino has agreed to take over at Chelsea next season and is already working with club officials behind the scenes to plan their transfer strategy for the summer, with Lampard left to manage the first team until the end of the campaign.
Chelsea have lost seven of their nine games under Lampard’s temporary watch, the latest of which came on Thursday as they were bested 4-1 by Manchester United.
After the game, Lampard took aim at his players for allowing their standards to drop in training and urged Pochettino to find a way to drag Chelsea back to where they belong.
“I think the squad size is something the club will address and the new manager will understand what I’m saying there in terms of numbers, so I think they’ll look at squad players that it might be time to leave or might want to leave to get the squad right,” Lampard said.
“After that the manager will come in with whatever tactical idea he has. Top managers who are gonna manage Chelsea will have an idea whether it’s formation or style, but I do think that the club – having been here for a long time, a successful period playing and coaching back here – I think there’s a lot of basics, standards and day-to-day training ethics that amongst things that have happened this year have dropped down a level, and I think for me that’s the first thing I would fix.
“Those basics – and I’m not standing here telling the manager what to do – as I’m sure the level of the manager coming in is gonna want to see that themselves and address it. But, in my short period, I would say that basic level before you get to tactics needs to step up a gear again.”
The size of the Chelsea squad was again highlighted by Lampard when the caretaker boss discussed the challenges he has faced since his return to Stamford Bridge.
“It is a huge group and that’s been a challenge for me and probably every coach this season because when you work, firstly you know there are ways in which you work that the numbers can be a problem practically,” he continued. “Then there’s the collective mindset and spirit of the group and the fact we’ve got a squad of low 30s, you’re leaving a lot of people at home.
“That’s been challenging. On one part I can see that it can affect players negatively if they fall out of it but on the other part, there’s also a responsibility for players to show that they should be part of the team – to start or on the bench to come in. I think we’ve had a difficult balance this year and I’ve obviously come in at the back end of that.”