Analysis

Lampard assesses strikeforce options and updates on Abraham

Frank Lampard analyses Olivier Giroud’s performance against West Ham, discusses the possibility of playing Christian Pulisic in a false nine role, and provides an injury update on Tammy Abraham.

The hip problem sustained by Abraham in Valencia ruled the striker out of Saturday’s derby with the Hammers, forcing Lampard to shuffle his pack. In come Olivier Giroud up front for his first start in any competition since our second league game of the season, against Leicester.

‘It was a difficult game for him obviously,’ Lampard said of the French forward’s performance.

‘He probably didn’t get enough ball, and then the couple of chances he had didn’t go in for him, so a tough match for him but he wasn’t the only one who comes into a team and a performance that was slightly off it.

‘Michy’s had a lot of performances to come on recently and made a difference in certain games, but it was just the choice for this game.

‘I don’t want to talk about match fitness or sharpness because we train hard here,’ added the boss.

‘I get it, I was a player and when you’re not playing regularly you’re need for games is big, but we have to be ready to try and come in.

‘We shouldn’t isolate individuals because they haven’t played, because then you could talk about a player who has been playing every game and wasn’t quite sharp. The reasons are not always as they seem.’

With 20 minutes remaining on Saturday, Lampard replaced Giroud with Callum Hudson-Odoi and shifted Pulisic into a central striking position. The boss considered if that could be an option while Abraham remains out.

‘We’ll see. He does have an ability to run behind the line, and to be sharp in central areas which will naturally get him more goals.

‘I am not going to say right now if that is the solution, but we will see as we go forward.’

Finally, Lampard had the latest on our no.9, who will be desperate to be back and available for Aston Villa’s visit on Wednesday. As a loanee last season, Abraham scored 26 goals for Dean Smith’s side on their way to promotion.

‘We will find out more today and tomorrow,’ reported Lampard.

‘He needs to get outside and move a little bit outside over the next two days.’

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