The hard work has begun on the training pitch to put Saturday’s defeat against Everton behind us and prepare for the big Champions League night tomorrow, but that does not mean blanking out the 3-1 loss at Goodison as there are important lessons to be learned according to Frank Lampard.
The head coach spoke immediately after the game about the sloppy nature of goals conceded and although it is clear the current Chelsea side is a work in progress with plenty of young players involved among more experienced heads, there is only so much leeway that can be given.
That is a point he makes as he looks again at the weekend setback.
‘They have to get used to it quickly,’ Lampard states. ‘I can give them a tiny bit of room maybe for the youth of some of the team but at the same time, they might be young but they are not silly.
‘They know physical contact happens in games like the Everton one. The game gets broken up, the ball goes direct into your box, it is another thing to deal with and we just have to deal with it better.
‘There are home truths all the time, whatever game you play,’ he adds, ‘and players consistently need to hear that. I have a good bunch and in the Premier League with the competitive nature of it, there are going to be difficult patches and times when you lose games. It is certainly not the end of the world but it is important that we take on board lessons from games like Saturday and West Ham, because we had a week when we were poor, fantastic, and poor again, so that lack of consistency is not going to get us where we want to be.’
The 37 tackles Everton made on Saturday was their most in a Premier League match for nearly six years and there seems little doubt they were fired up by having their former striker Duncan Ferguson taking temporary charge. There are sometimes suggestions that the modern player has been developed less-equipped to deal with physical football than when the likes of Lampard were coming through, but he is not convinced by that.
‘I think there are teams that play that way,’ he says. ‘They [the Chelsea players] were all aware that was coming. We are not slight physically, especially if you look at our centre-backs and Tammy up front for instance, so they should have been aware.’