Frank Lampard says he is ‘angry’ and ‘disgusted’ at the awful online abuse suffered by Tammy Abraham this week, adding it is an unnecessary test of his great personality.
In the wake of our Super Cup loss to Liverpool, Abraham was the subject of vile racist abuse on social media from, as Lampard rightly put it, ‘so-called Chelsea fans’.
At his press conference at Cobham today, the boss was asked for his view on what had happened. He delivered a strong message that reiterated the club’s stance towards any form of discrimination.
‘I am disgusted by the so-called Chelsea fans,’ said Lampard.
‘I saw the different ends of the spectrum that evening: Tammy asked me to take the fifth penalty because he wanted to stand up and be brave when the world is watching, and afterwards somebody sitting behind a keyboard or a phone has said the most disgusting things possible.
‘I don’t like how these platforms allow it. It’s too easy. Something needs to be done, as well as people changing their mindsets completely.
‘I’m so angry for Tammy, and angry for us as a club because that’s not what we are about. The club does a lot of work against discrimination of all levels. It’s a step back when these things happen.
‘I’ve spoken with Tammy and he is a strong character,’ added Lampard.
‘I love his character. He’s infectious around the place, a confident boy on the pitch and he wants to do really well for this football club. He has the opportunity to do that this year. He’s a great young man.
‘He has experienced something that isn’t right on all levels. It’s a test of that character he shouldn’t need, but he’s got great character.’
Abraham won us the penalty that Jorginho equalised from in extra-time before nearly netting the winner and then seeing his spot-kick saved in the shoot-out. It followed on from the 21-year-old thumping a sweet strike against the post at Old Trafford, and Lampard believes it is only a matter of time until the Chelsea Academy product opens his account for the club.
‘Tammy is always desperate to score and that’s one of the things I love about him. He’s hungry. He wants to score in training, five-a-side, shooting practice.
‘He needs to be relaxed at the same time as that, but what he does do is get in positions to score regularly. That’s what you want to see. That’s an indication of his character. He doesn’t hide, he gets in there.
‘When that goal comes, as it did at Aston Villa and Bristol City, I think they will come regularly. He shouldn’t be putting too much pressure on himself. He’s a young striker with so many qualities and attributes. He’s going to be a really big striker for the club and now is his time to show that.
‘We were doing extra shooting earlier today, and we will do it every day if he wants for as long as it takes. I believe when you do that work and you have his quality it’s going to come good.’