Frank Lampard surveyed defeat in the London derby on Tuesday night and spoke about the need for good habits to be laid down on the training pitch to stand a chance in contests like this. He also highlighted a young player who has set a good example.
The Gunners did the damage at the Emirates with three first-half goals, the second and the third coming within three minutes of each other to give the Blues a mountain to climb.
Noni Madueke, from a clever Mateo Kovacic pass, made a start on that ascent when he netted his first goal for the club on 65 minutes but despite more attacking play by Chelsea in the second half, no further successful strikes were forthcoming.
Lampard did not pull his punches when analysing that damaging display before the break.
‘The first-half performance was not good enough, in every way,’ said the caretaker manager.
‘We were too nice to play against, nice off the ball, passive, things we talked about before the game defensively we did not do. We did not restrict the space between lines, we did not get the line up as much as we needed to, we did not affect pressure on the ball, we did not make contact with Arsenal players.
‘On the ball the same, passing short, playing to position, not playing longer, not making forward runs. Things that we spoke about and if you play like that, you get what you deserve.’
Lampard acknowledged that the second half showed an improvement, but highlighted there needs to be more of the right approach every single day in training.
‘Maybe there were some things I said at half-time, which to be fair I had said before the game. Tactical no, playing a back-four or a back-five, these things do not matter if you don’t get the basics right. So we got the basics a bit better and we had more of a dynamic nature about us, and we created a couple of decent chances and scored a goal from it.
‘They are small gains but that can’t be from 45 minutes until the end when you come to a place like this.
‘If you haven’t been conditioning and doing that on Wednesday and Thursday, you won’t do it on a Saturday or whatever matchday you want to talk about. When those things don’t become you as a group, it doesn't change overnight and we are seeing that at the moment.
‘I want to be clear – I am not questioning the players as lads but from being good lads to transferring it on the pitch, you have to be aggressive and as a collective group we are not that.
‘There can be a lot of reasons and some are very valid - players coming into the Premier League into a team that is having a difficult moment, it is not easy, this is the hardest league in the world.
‘But there are some things that are the basics, they have to be better. Some of it is the team being low in confidence but it is also under-performing in basics so now there are five games to compete with each other, to show that you deserve to be in the team, like Noni [Madueke] did tonight, with his performance after two weeks of good training.’