Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has insisted that everybody involved with the first team must work on their game management after the Blues slipped to a 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.
Lampard’s side were electric in the first half and roared to a 2-0 lead, but allowed Southampton to claw it back to 2-2. And despite restoring their lead soon after, Chelsea again conceded late as the Saints netted deep into injury time to snatch a point.
Conceding late on and giving up leads is nothing new to Lampard, who has faced heavy criticism for his decision-making when Chelsea are in the ascendancy, and the boss confessed (via football.london) that game management is something the team still need to work on.
“Yes, there is certainly a game management element of it in a game,” he said. “We want to have a lead and see it off. We turnover the ball that led to the free kick and then it is the second balls. There’s a lot of elements that led to it, you can recreate that in training and talk about it a lot but it is very disappointing when it happens.
“I don’t think it is conceding goals due to the shape of the team. Of course we have changed the shape and I have to make those decisions with the personnel we have and getting the best out of them. That is something I have to think about, but it doesn’t mean I am dead set on sticking with that formation and there can be changes and tweaks to it as we go along. It’s something we need to continue working on. It is a change.
“Change needs work on the training ground, we haven’t had much of that so sometimes the work in progress is in games and today there were loads of great things from the 4-2-3-1, particularly in the first half.
“In the second half I wouldn’t blame the shape of the team, more that we didn’t deal with the fact that Southampton were really keen to put us under pressure in their own half. We wanted to miss out their press, we didn’t do enough and that meant we turned the ball over in our own half, which irrespective of shape is always a problem.”
Lampard also leapt to the defence of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who made a handful of good saves but again made a costly error as he pulled out of a challenge and gifted Che Adams a routine goal.
“I was talking about Kepa before and he makes a couple of really good saves in the match,” the boss continued. “But of course eyes will be drawn to the second goal and I understand that because it wasn’t just Kepa who was involved in that goal. That is the unfortunate world of a goalkeeper.
“[Édouard] Mendy is at the minute injured and probably will be fit in the next week or two weeks and then that will be the decision for me to make about who plays.”