Chelsea could have a number of players involved in Gareth Southgate’s England squad at Euro 2020 and Frank Lampard analysed several of them following our 3-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.
Over a month had passed without the Blues recording a victory in front of our own supporters in a Premier League match before the weekend just past, but we made up for lost time with a clinical dismantling of the Clarets.
Big contributions came from all over the park, including from several England internationals or Under-21 internationals who started the game.
Reece James provided the cross from which Tammy Abraham headed our second goal, which was the striker’s 13th in the Premier League this term in his maiden campaign leading the line for the Blues.
Both players earned the praise of their head coach; one for his physicality and the other for his football intelligence, particularly for such a young player.
‘Tammy gave as good as he got and I think it’s important for him to do that,’ said Lampard of his centre-forward’s dominant display against Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, who are among the most physical centre-back pairings in the league.
‘When you have his frame, 6ft 3in, he has to use his body and I think he has done to great effect this year and he’ll get better at that. It’s important to hold firm and at least make it very difficult for them. He did that in this game and I’m really pleased.
‘With Reece [who assisted the goal] it’s not all about those crosses, which are really eye-catching, he can also play. There’s obviously things he can improve and defensively we’ll work with him on the training ground, but he’s a smart footballer.
‘He takes up really good positions sometimes, he’s slightly inside as well higher up the pitch, sometimes really wide. It was nice to see the combination between him and Callum. It was a really dangerous combination for Burnley and we made good use of it.
‘They’ve both got different talents. When Callum’s higher and he’s running at people and being as aggressive with the ball as he was in this game, with Reece behind him, of course it’s a big thing. It’s not just that combination, we have different options, and Reece has brought that to the table, and it’ll be a work in progress. Hopefully it’ll improve.’
Although he wasn’t as decisive in the pivotal moments as some of his team-mates, the performance of Ross Barkley was another big plus for Lampard.
Having struggled with injury at the tail-end of 2019, the former Everton midfielder – who celebrates two years as a Blue this month – came back into the side last weekend to score against Nottingham Forest, but it was his all-round performance which caught the eye on this occasion.
‘I speak a lot with Ross and I really like him,’ said Lampard. ‘He came to me a couple of weeks ago and said he was starting to feel good. It was a niggly injury, but he’s just starting to feel absolutely released from it.
‘This was the performance we want out of Ross. It was so positive and you saw his quality on the ball; he can hit a right-foot ball, left-foot ball, take the ball well. He looked confident. That’s part of Ross’s game you could maybe question if you look from the outside: how confident is he when things go against him slightly?
‘This was exactly what Ross can do; an England player, playing for Chelsea, has given me a lot of thinking to do with that performance.
‘He just needs to train well and he needs to play well – and he played well against Burnley. He needs to continue like that.
‘I have my issues in terms of selection, but I have no winners in terms of liking someone more or less, or if they’re a better bloke than that one. No – it’s what’s good for us out there on the pitch.
‘Ross was a selection that might have had people saying, “Oh, that’s Ross and Mason Mount in midfield,” but they both showed why they should be there in this game.
‘It’s not easy for our midfielders, I’ve had to have difficult conversations with nearly all of them at some point this season. That’s a good thing for me, in terms of selection, trying to find the right balance and different games require different things. If everyone is firing and pushing each other then it’s not a problem. Ross coming in and performing like that is a really good problem.’