Frank Lampard lamented Chelsea’s first-half showing at Arsenal on Boxing Day evening, when the recent form book went out the window as we fell to a disappointing defeat.
Having seen his side go 2-0 behind by half-time, it was already a big mountain for the Blues to climb in this corner on north London before the Gunners added to their lead in the second half. Tammy Abraham did pull a goal back late on and had Jorginho added to that when he could not convert a penalty in added time then there would have been a nervous last few seconds for the home side, but in the end this 3-1 result gave them a first league win since the start of November.
‘Not good enough first half, better second half but too much to do at that point,’ was Lampard’s basic assessment of his own side after the game.
‘Not good enough on the basics – sprints and pressing and running, speed of pass and trying to play and make angles, all the basics were wrong.
‘I am not sure if complacency is the right word but there was definitely a lethargic approach to the first half that no matter whether you were playing Arsenal in a tough moment who have got quality players, or any team in the Premier League, you can’t turn up like that.
‘I am concerned what is at the bottom of it but I am not sure it is definitely complacency. The fact that actually matters is that if you come and play slow, on and off the ball, you have a big problem trying to get a result. The message was clear before the game, we had to attack it in the right way and we didn’t.’
Lampard made two half-time changes with Jorginho on for Mateo Kovacic and Callum Hudson-Odoi for Timo Werner. He was asked about taking off the German.
‘The goals not going in is certainly something an attacking player gets judged on and I could have made more subs,’ he responded, ‘but I felt I had to make subs in those two areas to inject energy.
‘Timo today wasn’t giving us enough with or without the ball and some of it we have to give him time because it is a different league but also we have to get there quickly, so we’ll see about his tiredness. I will have a conversation with him but it was a decision I just felt I had to make. I had to make changes to try to change the cause of the match.’
The boss did not want to talk about Jorginho’s immediate future as one of the penalty takers.
‘I won’t comment on that one at the minute but with his performance, he added a lot to the team in the second half,’ he pointed out.