Monday, September 30, 2019

Frank Lampard says N'golo Kante has to be carefully managed.

Frank Lampard is holding N'Golo Kante back after the Chelsea midfielder suffered another injury in the build-up to the 2-0 win over Brighton, but the Blues boss acknowledges it will be vital to have the France international back in the team.

Kante’s current hamstring complaint adds to a series of setbacks for the 28-year-old, who played through the pain of a knee injury in last season’s Europa League final win over Arsenal.

Though that starring performance made last term worthwhile for Chelsea, it has led to further complications this campaign after Kante returned to London early from the pre-season trip to Japan to undergo treatment on his knee.

He then picked up an ankle injury ahead of Chelsea's trip to Norwich in late August, which prompted Lampard to contact France coach Didier Deschamps to ensure Kante was rested over the last international break.

A tight hamstring ruled Kante out of the win over Brighton and Lampard revealed he is keen to get the former Leicester man’s fitness right.

Lampard told reporters at Stamford Bridge. "My feeling is that he has played a lot and that's because he has been so successful and so important to the teams he has been in. At the minute, he has injuries.

"This little niggle he had is a small, small injury. We just need to get it right. We are just careful and it is my duty to work with him. The medical team are working so hard with him.

"I have been there as a player and, if you miss a pre-season through an injury in particular, then you are playing catch-up. At the moment he is playing catch-up and that's no fault of his own. He has played four seasons now full-on, game after game with international tournaments.

"So, it is right to be a bit careful. Let's be happy. We got a result here, we are doing okay. With N'Golo, when we do get him to where we want him to be, we will be stronger with him."

Willian: "I think we have to be more clinical"

Chelsea have to become more clinical in front of goal if they are to achieve their aims for the season, according to forward Willian.

The Blues squandered a number of opportunities but were still too strong for Brighton and Hove Albion in Saturday's 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

However, a mixture of good goalkeeping from Mat Ryan and poor finishing from the likes of Pedro, Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso almost cost Chelsea their first home Premier League win under Frank Lampard.

Dan Burn grazed the crossbar shortly before the contest was killed off by Willian, who admits Chelsea have to start taking more of their chances.

"The game could have been 3-0 or 4-0," he told the club's official website. "In the first half we created a lot of chances and I think we have to be more clinical. 
"We cannot miss chances like this and we have to now think about the next game.

"We needed [the win]. We have been working hard every day, every game and this time we finally got the result, got the three points at home and we have to carry on. We have to continue in the same way."

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Frank Lampard reacts to Chelsea's win against Brighton: "We needed the win. “We haven't had a 90-minute game where we've controlled it enough. The only disappointment is we didn't have more goals. A clean sheet as well. It is good for the confidence of everyone."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits to having been left pleasantly surprised by the performance levels of Mason Mount this season.

The man in charge at Stamford Bridge knows what the 20-year-old is capable of having worked with him at Derby in 2018-19.
That loan spell, and his contribution during it, has helped to force Mount into contention at Chelsea and the senior England squad.

Lampard has been prepared to put his trust in youngsters, with academy graduates getting a Premier League stage on which to prove their worth.
Mount is among those to have grabbed that opportunity, with it his quick feet which led to the penalty which broke the deadlock in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Brighton.

Lampard is delighted to have seen his own expectations passed by home-grown talent, telling BBC Sport: “The all-round game and quality of Mason. He is the catalyst for us getting in front with his sharpness.

“He was brilliant for me at Derby. I did not expect this level but he is improving daily.”
Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20
Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham were also handed starts against Brighton, while Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marc Guehi filled places on the bench.

Lampard used a number of youth team stars during Chelsea's midweek Carabao Cup win over Grimsby, including Billy Gilmour, and is pleased to see his faith being rewarded.
He added: “It is great for the club and a long time coming.

“The work is done in the academy. The mentality is great. They want to play for this club. At the moment they are earning it and setting a level for others.
“I have complete confidence in the lads. They are there on merit. Whatever game they take it on board and long may it continue.”

Victory over the Seagulls on Saturday was Lampard’s first in the Premier League as Chelsea manager.

He is relieved to have ticked that box and to have seen his side keep pace with a number of rivals in the rather congested race for top-four finishes.
The Blues manager added: “We needed the win.

“We haven't had a 90-minute game where we've controlled it enough. The only disappointment is we didn't have more goals. A clean sheet as well. It is good for the confidence of everyone.

“We had a lot of shots first half. But weak finishing and a bit of bad luck. You do start to wonder but you have to remain confident it will come and it did.”

Frank Lampard when asked if Jorginho is Chelsea's main Penalty taker: “Yes he is, end of story,”

Frank Lampard has declared the penalty-taking debate at Chelsea to be over, with Jorginho handed the responsibility after converting in a 2-0 win over Brighton.
Questions had been asked at Stamford Bridge over recent weeks as to who should be stepping up from 12 yards.

Jorginho has always been a favoured choice, but Ross Barkley snatched the ball off him in a Champions League clash with Valencia.
The England international fluffed his lines, but stated afterwards: “When I’m on the pitch, I’ll take the penalty.

"Obviously I didn’t execute it right but everybody misses penalties. I didn’t score the goal but I felt confident.
“If there was another penalty in the game, I would have been confident to take the pen. You can miss penalties."

While Barkley believed that he was still the main man, it was Pedro who stepped up during a Carabao Cup clash with Grimsby.
He found the back of the net, but slipped down the pecking order against Brighton as Jorginho took charge once more.

The Italy international never looked like missing and is now the go-to man for the Blues.

“Yes he is, end of story,” Lampard said when quizzed on the issue.

The Blues boss was then pressed further on his decision and added: “I knew you’d ask me that question again. I’m surprised about the obsession with penalty takers.
“Jorginho took it and he scored. He’s a penalty taker.”
N'Golo Kante Chelsea 2019-20
He did not have France international N’Golo Kante alongside him, with Lampard opting not to take a risk on the fitness of the World Cup winner after seeing him carry a few niggling knocks since the summer.

Lampard said of Kante: “It’s an awareness, I didn’t want to take a risk.
“I spoke to N’Golo about it and he’s so important for us. We know that.

“He’s had a difficult pre-season. It’s been difficult for us but mainly for him because of the break-up of his pre-season, with the injury carrying over from last year.
“It wasn’t right to risk him. He could have a chance for Lille.”

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Pulisic on his lack of game time: " it is very frustrating, but I will continue to work my hardest because I want to play,”

Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has admitted that his lack of playing time is "very frustrating" after yet another game spent on the bench. 

Pulisic was an unused substitute in Chelsea's 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday, making it four matches out of his side's last five that he has failed to see the field. 

The U.S. international appears to have fallen behind Pedro, Willian, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi in Chelsea's depth chart for now, making it a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge. 
“Yeah, of course, it is very frustrating, but I will continue to work my hardest because I want to play,” Pulisic told Pro Soccer Talk after Saturday's game. 

Pulisic signed for Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in January for £58 million ($73m), before spending the second half of last season back on loan with Dortmund. 
His Chelsea career began with three starts in the team's first four Premier League matches, but the 21-year-old's last league appearance came on August 31 against Sheffield United. 

When asked if Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had
 given him specific reasons why his playing time has dropped off, Pulisic said the advice he's gotten has been more general.
“Not so much. He said to keep working and I have to improve myself in training and try to get back in the line-up," Pulisic said. 

After spending his entire career in Germany, the American has said that he knew moving to a new league in a new country was always going to be difficult at first. 

"There are going to be challenges,” Pulisic said. “I knew it was going to be tough coming here. It is never going to be easy. I’ve got to grind out. I want to be back and be a part of the team and help the team win games.

“I want to play as many minutes as I can, that is really my goal, I want to be on the field.

"It is tough for me right now. I just have to continue to learn. Like I said, I want to be on the field really bad, I have to continue to work and prove myself to be there."

Pulisic found himself in a similar situation last season, as Jadon Sancho's emergence at Dortmund cut into his playing time. 

When asked if he can learn from that situation, Pulisic said: "Of course. In the end I got minutes again and I played well towards the end of the season, so I just have to get my head down and get to work.”

Match Report: Chelsea FC 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

A Jorginho penalty and a deflected strike from Willian earned Chelsea their first home Premier League win under Frank Lampard as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 on Saturday.

Lampard's men had drawn two and lost one of their opening three matches at Stamford Bridge this term, but they deservedly got off the mark on this occasion.

Brighton, now beaten in all nine of their league meetings with Chelsea, survived an onslaught on their goal in the first half but Adam Webster gifted the Blues a spot-kick early in the second half.

Jorginho converted from 12 yards after Webster had brought down Mason Mount, who pounced on the defender's heavy first touch in the box, while Willian added a second 14 minutes from time to send Chelsea up to sixth in the table.
Tammy Abraham was unable to make any contact with Mount's inswinging free-kick in a first half dominated by Chelsea, the ball going right through and coming back off the post.

Mat Ryan was equal to shots from Ross Barkley and Pedro, who both should have been doing better with just the Brighton keeper to beat, while Marcos Alonso volleyed wide from close range shortly before the interval.

Chelsea's much-merited breakthrough goal arrived five minutes into the second half, however, as Webster brought down Mount and Jorginho sent the penalty into the bottom-left corner - the 100th to be scored at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Ryan temporarily kept Brighton in the match by producing good saves to deny Pedro and Abraham, who was played in by a poor pass from opposition midfielder Dale Stephens.

However, Willian sealed victory for Chelsea, powering an effort past Ryan via a deflection off Dan Burn - who had just grazed the bar with a header from a corner at the other end.

Frank Lampard wants Callum Hudson-odoi to emulate Raheem Sterling's work ethic.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has said Callum Hudson-Odoi has the ability to become the "absolute best" if he can show the same work ethic of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

Sterling was considered a wonderkid, like Hudson-Odoi is now, when he made the £49 million move from Liverpool to Man City at just 20 years old in 2015.

Pep Guardiola has helped turned one of England's best talents into a clinical finisher and one of the Premier League's most important players in his time at the Etihad Stadium.

After Hudson-Odoi returned from a five-month injury lay-off in the 7-1 win against Grimsby Town in midweek, Lampard explained why Sterling should be a role model for his club's teenage star.
"I know Callum's talent and he has got huge talent," Lampard told reporters at Cobham Training Centre. "Hence why the club were so keen to get him signed up [to a new contract] and we're all delighted with that as a club.

"But there's a lot of work for Callum to do. Lots of work. I think you can look around and look at fantastic examples and not even at this club.

"I don't like to talk about other club's players but Raheem Sterling is an incredible example of a player with great talent whose work ethic added to that talent and [showed] improvement in a short period of time through absolute dedication [to become] a complete player that we are all wowed by.

"[Sterling] is exactly the great model for Callum, because he has those talents.

"I want him to be the best, the absolute best, because he has the potential to do that and a lot of that or some of that is some hard truths and I saw some hard truths in the game the other day and ways that he can improve and he needs to listen to them and he will.

"And then he can be that player for us, which is great news for everybody."

Chelsea are putting their faith in Hudson-Odoi as a future star after giving him a new five-year deal worth £180,000 per week. The deal wards off Bayern Munich's months-long interest in signing the winger.

Hudson-Odoi is likely to at least make the bench on Sunday against Brighton after an Achilles tendon rupture from which it took almost six months to recover.
Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20
Along with Hudson-Odoi, Lampard is integrating a whole host of other young players in his squad this season. Chelsea have looked to their academy as they rebuild following a managerial change and FIFA's two-window transfer ban.

Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James are just a few youngsters aiming to make their mark this season, and Lampard is enjoying developing his group of young talent.

"To be honest, that's the really interesting part of my job and I love that side of it," Lampard added. "If you just isolate the young players for a moment because we're talking about them, to judge the moments where you think maybe they are a little bit tired, maybe that game was a lot, maybe did they understand the information I gave them in training? Or in the game? Or in the reviewing of a game, things they did in a game?

"They've all got different personalities. Some need cajoling, some definitely need some tough words at times to help them improve and that's where my job is really interesting because I love seeing improvement and progression and with these players.

"No matter what their personalities, they all want to be the best player they can be for Chelsea, which I love. And it's not just me. It's also (assistants) Jody (Morris) and Joe Edwards because they know them so well as well.

"Within our team, we can easily split up the work and pay attention to all those moments because some of them are emotional things as well. It's not always the technical on-pitch stuff.

"Some of it is them growing up and signing a new contract or what's going on around them or getting a load of exposure after a good performance and what will that do to them? I think that is constant work but in a good way.

Match Preview: Chelsea FC vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Chelsea and Frank Lampard will be hopeful of using their Carabao Cup success as a springboard to push on to greater things when they host Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

The Blues progressed to the next round of knockout football in midweek to bounce back from a disappointing loss against Liverpool last Sunday.
Their emphatic victory over Grismby, a 7-1 drubbing, showed just what kind of philosophy the former England great has brought upon his arrival at his old club to succeed Maurizio Sarri.

Working with a limited pool of players thanks to a transfer ban, the ex-midfielder has brought youth to the forefront at Stamford Bridge to help his side impress in his first few games in charge, even if they are yet to reach the highs of previous incarnations this early in the campaign.

Before they turned over the Mariners for what was a first home win of the season, young starlet Mason Mount had spoken about their struggle to deliver on their own turf, admitting that it remained a "big focus".

"We are going through a spell when we are getting little bits here and there wrong and we are getting punished for it," he stated. "I think we have always got to stay positive.

"They are difficult games, but I think once you get that first home win and get that momentum building, then hopefully we can carry that on.

"Of course [we need to win more at home], if you look at the games we have had we can take positives from every game we have had.
"We need to win games at home, that's a big focus."

Visiting coach Graham Potter hasn't enjoyed similar levels of success since succeeding Chris Hughton on the South Coast, however, with the former Swansea boss having notched up only two wins this campaign, including a battling last-gasp victory over League One outfit Bristol Rovers.

Despite his own struggles, though, Potter admitted that he had not been caught unaware by the success of his opposite number in his new role, highlighting that Lampard's prior experience in guiding Derby County to the Championship play-off final showed his talents.

“He’s done really well, and I’m not surprised," hestated in his pre-match conference. "I came across him last season and was really impressed.
“He’s got so much experience and his career speaks for itself, he has the potential to be a top manager. He’s both articulate and intelligent after being at the highest level.

“He’s come into a challenging situation at Chelsea for a number of reasons, but he’s done really well, and from afar, I have a lot of respect for him.

“He’s been in the game long enough and will know about both the group and the team. I have no doubt they’ll continue to do well.”

Friday, September 27, 2019

Pre-Match Conference: Frank Lampard talks about Pulisic and provided fitness updates ahead of Brighton.

Christian Pulisic has shown “good moments” during a testing start to life at Chelsea, says Frank Lampard, with the United States international needing more time to adjust to new surroundings.
Confirmation of a deal being struck with Borussia Dortmund for the talented playmaker in January generated quite a buzz around Stamford Bridge.

At just 21 years of age, Pulisic is considered to be one of the most promising young talents in world football.

Arriving in England over the summer with such a big billing was always going to make life tough for the youngster, and he has struggled for consistency so far.

The hope is, however, that Pulisic will eventually become an able successor to the departed Eden Hazard in west London, with Lampard prepared to be patient in his bid to unlock further potential.

The Chelsea boss told reporters when asked for his take on how Pulisic has fared so far, with a return to the Blues’ starting XI made in a 7-1 Carabao Cup win over Grimsby : “I have got four wingers now that they are all fit.

“It’s normal to have an adaptation. He has shown some good moments. We must give him a bit of time to adapt because of youth, change of league and living.

“They are all different, have different pathways. We know he has played in the Champions League.”
On a positive note for Chelsea, Pulisic is far from the only emerging talent that they have on their books at present.
Norwich vs Chelsea, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount
A number of academy graduates, including a few teenage debutants , also figured against Grimsby.
The likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have been leading the way in 2019-20 , as they see regular game time in the Premier League, and Lampard is pleased with the progress being made by the Blues’ stars of the present and future.

“I think the fact we are seeing a great number of them on the pitch speaks for itself,” he said.

“As a group yes, there is a lot of work ahead of them. The step into the first team is the easier one, now it’s about staying in it.

“They all seemed very comfortable [against Grimsby]. It was a different game to a Premier League game, but they are confident lads. They have every grounding and base needed.”

Next up for Chelsea is a home date with Brighton on Saturday, with it likely that a number of youngsters will figure once again.

Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi made welcomes returns to action after injury against Grimsby, but Lampard does have a number of other players stuck on the treatment table.

Pressed for a fitness update, he said: “[Antonio] Rudiger, out. Toni has got a recurring injury in the groin, he still has some pain.

“Andreas [Christensen], should be okay. A bit of pain but not a risk.

“Olivier [Giroud], yes he is over his illness. It left him pretty weak and he has got some strength.
“Emerson, other side of international break with hamstring.

“Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], no date but he is jogging outside.”

Billy Gilmour says he was not shy ahead of the full debut against Grimsby.

Billy Gilmour starred for Chelsea on his full debut against Grimsby, with the 18-year-old eager to point out that he does not suffer with nerves or shyness.

He proved as much with his performance in a Carabao Cup third-round clash that the Blues secured a stunning 7-1 success in.

Gilmour pulled the strings for Frank Lampard’s side in the middle of the park, with his first start at senior level seeing him put in an eye-catching display.

He puts that down to his roots, telling Chelsea’sofficial website of his ability to slip seamlessly into a star-studded squad: “I’m Scottish!

“No, I’m not shy. On the pitch it’s football. If you’re not going to talk, what are you doing on the pitch? You need to communicate. I love football, a big part of my game is communicating.

“I’m just taking it a step at a time. I’ve got the 23s, we’re doing really well there. Of course, I want to get as many opportunities with the first team as possible. I just need to keep training hard and working hard.”

Ivanovich: "Chelsea need Roman Abramovich back."

Former Chelsea favourite Branislav Ivanovic thinks the Blues need owner Roman Abramovich back at Stamford Bridge if they are to return to the top of the game.

The 35-year-old, now playing in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg, won three Premier League titles and the Champions League among numerous other honours in a nine-year spell in west London.
Formerly a fixture in the Blues’ hospitality box, Abramovich has been conspicuous by his absence in recent months due to an ongoing visa row with the UK government.

“This is a new Chelsea team,” Ivanovic toldFourFourTwo. “The club didn’t have the perfect season last year, but still finished third.

“Chelsea need Roman Abramovich back. That’s the most important thing for all the fans. We want to see him at Stamford Bridge, then Chelsea will be among the best teams in Europe once again.

“He’s been one of the most important people in my career, and I appreciate everything he’s done for me. Whenever I had a difficult moment at Chelsea, he always believed in me. I owe him a lot."

Reece James: "Just to play my first game here at the Bridge, in front of all the fans, that was probably the best occasion, Obviously, it’s a dream come true.

Reece James has admitted that playing at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea was a "dream come true" as he looks to follow in the footsteps of his childhood heroes.

The 19-year-old put in an impressive performance on his first-team debut for the Blues, scoring the fifth goal in their 7-1 win over Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

And James, who has been with the club's academy since the age of seven, has revealed he looked up to the likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba and current Chelsea manager Frank Lampard as a child, and is keen to emulate their succes in west London.

"Just to play my first game here at the Bridge, in front of all the fans, that was probably the best occasion," he told reporters. "Obviously, it’s a dream come true.

"I’ve played for this club since I was seven years old and it’s always what I wanted.

"I’d played in front of a few crowds before but nothing like a full Stamford Bridge. I’m a little bit familiar with it but it was alright.

"I didn’t [think about my goal celebration]. Even if I did, I was just shocked at that moment. I’m just thankful I got the goal and we got the win.

"[Lampard] told me the day before but I think it doesn’t settle in until you’re actually out there on the pitch. The atmosphere was buzzing, the stadium, everyone was jumping. When I was young, I supported the club and still do now.

"I probably looked up to Drogba, Terry, Lampard. They were the main three leaders. It helped drive the team back then when I was a little kid. They were all winners. That was reflected in the trophies they won."

As well as his goal James also provided two assists from right-back for team-mates Michy Batshuayi and Kurt Zouma to score against their League Two opponents.

His attacking capabilities stood out last season during a superb loan spell with Wigan Athletic, with his displays both at right-back and in central midfield earning him a place in the EFL Team of the Year for 2018-19.

He was one of 10 academy graduates to appear against Grimsby, with James among four players making their debut for the club as Lampard continues to turn to youth amid a transfer ban at the Premier League giants.
And James admits that he was not expecting to get his chance so soon, particularly given the club's success under Maurizio Sarri last term.

"At the time I wasn’t sure because the team did well last season, winning the Europa League," he said. "I decided to take it as it comes really and when I found out I was staying, I was obviously happy. I’m glad I'm getting my chance.
Reece James quote GFX
"If you look at the past few years there probably isn’t as many who have played. Out there today there were four or five of us that got on the pitch. That’s great for the academy. It shows the level and standard there is very good.
"Of course, looking at other young players getting a chance gives you a boost."
James has had to wait for his chance this season after he picked up an ankle injury in pre-season that required surgery.
He has gradually worked his way back to full fitness, and is now ready to continue his development and learn from the likes of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who plays in the same position.
"Of course I’m learning every day because I’ve not played at this level before. There are little bits here and there where they help me on the performance side and show me how it's done. Yeah, [I am learning] positioning, everything.
"Where to go where the ball is on the other side. There’s loads of little things.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen in the weeks ahead. I have to take it as it comes. If I’m involved, then I’ll be happy, and if I'm not, I’ll play again."

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Chelsea Academy players 7-1 Grimsby Town! The blues carabao cup tie against the Lincolnshire side was just a game for the youngsters.

Writer: Uthman Adebayo (@uthadebayo on Twitter)
Date: 26/09/19

It was an emphatic win for the blues on Wednesday night as they thumped Grimsby 7-1 in their first ever carabao cup tie against the Lincolnshire side. It wasn't only the manner of the victory that was impressive but the young lads that were on display that very night. The Chelsea squad that faced off Grimsby consisted of 10 academy players while the others were the usual rookies.

The Starting line up had Reece James at RB, Marc Guehi at CB, Billy Gilmour at the midfield while CHO marked his return and Pulisic and Barkley also started. The likes of James, Guehi and Gilmour were making their full debut and it was the performances of James that would have particularly caught the eye.

Reece James who was replacing Azpilicueta on the night created five chances; the most of any player on the pitch and in addition he made three crosses. He laid the ball to Batshuayi who turned and finished for his first assist of the game and his second assist was a cross to the six-yard box for Zouma to poke home. He eventually capped off a wonderful performance by taking a touch on the edge of the box before driving his shot into the bottom corner for his first Chelsea goal.

Marc Guehi had a great game at CB. He attempted nine aerial duels, made 10 ball recoveries and also completed 70 of his 78 passes in the game.
Billy Gilmour absolutely bossed the midfield by completing 89 of his 96 passes, winning 1 aerial duel and taking in 102 touches. Just incredible.

Faustino Anjorin came on in the second half and made two interceptions despite not starting from the onset while iaan matsen put in a decent shift by his own standards.

However despite the academy youngsters sparkling, the same cannot be said of Barkley and pulisic. Barkley just lacked the discipline when playing in midfield and took tons of space for Pulisic to run into despite scoring the first goal. Though Pulisic did well to claim an assist for Batshuayi's second goal but it was the only chance he created all game.
It was also a decent second half for CHO whose persistence came off as he capped the game off with a goal in his first appearance since April while Michy Batshuayi took his goals well; his first pair of Chelsea goals since 2017 and that would give him the much needed confidence.

A sparkling performance from the Chelsea academy players! And surely there would be plenty more in the future. Its still the start of something great.

Lampard on drawing ManUtd:" I think a lot can happen in football in a short time. The next round is not coming tomorrow. We have to respect the fact they have good players"

Chelsea are feeling confident ahead of facing Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, but Frank Lampard concedes he is in no position to talk the Red Devils down.

The new man in charge at Stamford Bridge saw his Premier League reign opened with a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

United have failed to kick on from that point, with questions being asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and an underperforming side.

A heavyweight fourth-round encounter has now been put in place, with Lampard hoping to fare better in his next reunion with United than he did in his last.

The Chelsea boss said: “It's a big draw, two big teams and I'm pleased we're at home. We'll see.

“I think a lot can happen in football in a short time. The next round is not coming tomorrow. We have to respect the fact they have good players.

“They beat us 4-0... so I'm certainly not going to stand here and talk Man Utd down.

“It's going to be a tough game, and the beauty of what we did on Wednesday night was make the game look pretty easy.

“But these games can be tough and I'd rather, from a distance and having not watched the game, give Rochdale credit for taking them all the way. Man Utd will bring a strong team here.”

Chelsea are set to play host to United on October 29 and it could be that a number of youngsters figure once again for the Blues in that contest, with Lampard having handed out four debuts against Grimsby.

Teenage midfielder Billy Gilmour was also given a first start for the club, with the west London giants finishing a midweek cup clash with six academy graduates on the field.

Lampard, who has shown that he is willing to place considerable faith in youngsters this season, added: “I'm pleased some players who have not been playing so many minutes played, there were some debuts, and the young lads who came on improved the team, which was nice.”

Frank Lampard on CHO's performance against Grimsby: "In terms of his performance, I wasn't so sure about the first half,"

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said that Callum Hudson-Odoi needs to learn more after the winger made his return from injury on Wednesday.
Hudson-Odoi started in the Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town, and scored his side's seventh goal of the game in the 89th minute as the Blues romped to a 7-1 win.

The winger played his first senior minutes for the Blues since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in April.
Hudson-Odoi nearly left Chelsea to join up with Bayern Munich last winter, but the academy product ultimately stayed at Stamford Bridge and last week signed a new five-year contract with the club that will see him earn up to £180,000 per week.

Big things are expected of the 18-year-old now but Lampard has attempted to play down expectations, saying that the winger still has much to learn before he becomes a Chelsea regular. 

"In terms of his performance, I wasn't so sure about the first half," Lampard said in his post-game press conference. 

"I thought him and Christian [Pulisic] as wingers, the message was to hurt the line and run behind and get into the box to take people on. It wasn’t happening and that message didn’t get across.
"It was reinforced pretty strongly and in the second half [Hudson-Odoi] managed to get into better positions. Callum’s talent means that he absolutely works hard to run behind people, to get at people, to be inside, be outside and work off the ball, all those things.
“He needs to learn because if he wants to play week in and week out that is what he is going to have to do.”
Another Chelsea academy product making his first appearance of the season was Reece James, who missed much of the early season with injury. 
James, who starred on loan at Wigan last season, produced an impressive display at right-back, including a stunning long-range goal and two assists. 
"I think he can get much better because he has been out for a long time and sort of played minimal minutes in the [Under] 23s," Lampard said. 

"Reece’s performance last year at Wigan, and he was in Team of the Year in the Championship, shows the talent he has got.

"I think he is going to be a big player for this club, he has got a great player and person to look up to in [Cesar] Azpilicueta, who is in his position and as he improves and works hard, which he will do, he showed his real qualities on the ball today.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Match report: Chelsea FC 7-1 Grimsby Town

Reece James starred on his debut and Callum Hudson-Odoi marked his return with a goal as Frank Lampard picked up a first home win as Chelsea boss with a resounding 7-1 EFL Cup victory against Grimsby Town on Wednesday.

The Blues had lost back-to-back matches at Stamford Bridge and were winless there in four under Lampard, but they made light work of their League Two visitors, scoring seven goals in the competition for the first time since 1960-61.

James was one of three full debutants to start for Chelsea and played a part in three of his side's goals, including a strike of his own inside the final 10 minutes.

Matt Green's goal had given Grimsby some hope following quick-fire strikes from Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi.

But Pedro scored from the spot before half-time and further goals followed from Kurt Zouma, James, Batshuayi and the returning Hudson-Odoi in the second half as Chelsea returned to winning ways.

Match Facts: Chelsea FC vs Grimsby Town

Writer: Uthman Adebayo (@uthadebayo on Twitter)
Date: 25/09/19

Chelsea host Grimsby for the first time in their carabao cup history at Stamford bridge on Wednesday night and here are some match facts ahead of kick off:

1) Chelsea and Grimsby have never previously met in the league cup.

2) The most recent meeting with the Lincolnshire side were in the FA Cup, back in February 1996 when the blues drew 0-0 on a freezing night on Humberside and then won the replay 4-1 at the bridge.

3) The meeting before the 1996 FA Cup encounter was in 1983/84 where Kerry Dixon scored the only goal at Blundell park on the final day of the season to secure the second division championship.

4) Grimsby's biggest win at Stamford bridge is 2-0 in 1935/36 in a Division one match.

5) Chelsea's biggest win against Grimsby Town at Stamford bridge was in 1930/31 in division one when the blues won 5-0.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Lampard has confirmed that CHO and Reece James will return to action against Grimsby

Christensen and Emerson injury news

During Sunday’s game we lost Andreas Christensen to a knee problem and Emerson Palmieri to a thigh injury. Lampard gives an update on their condition.

‘Andreas is not too severe. Hopefully he won’t be out for too long but I can’t give a timeframe. Emerson now won’t be back until the other side of the international break [which is during mid-October]. It will be a few weeks because it is the reoccurrence of an injury so we have to be a bit careful with it.’

Two players who will be involved tomorrow are two back from injury –Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James. It will be a Chelsea debut for James who won Wigan’s Player of the Year by a landslide when out on loan last campaign.
‘He can play in different positions,’ details Lampard. ‘His favourite position is right-back or right wing-back and he played there a lot in our successful youth teams. He can also play in holding midfield as he showed at Wigan. He is strong, has really good quality on the ball in terms of the delivery he can put in from the sides. He is good in the tackle as he is a powerful boy. I was really impressed with him as a young player before he went to Wigan and also from how he responded to the Championship, so it is up to him now to try to make an impact on the squad here.’

Competing in the Carabao Cup

Lampard knows from his own experience how important this competition can be in a player’s career and how success in it can crystallise a team and make it ready for further triumphs. It was the first trophy he won at Chelsea, the start of a historic period for the club.
‘It will be an opportunity to blood young players in this game and it is a competition we want to be competitive in,’ he says. ‘It does give a good feeling. I saw Chelsea get to the final last year and beat Tottenham in the semi. I saw how Stamford Bridge was celebrating that, and the team was slightly unlucky to lose to Man City in the final. We will try to be competitive and at the same time as giving the youngsters a go, we will try to win, as a club like Chelsea should always do.
‘I have nice memories of the two finals I won. It is a competition that is difficult to win but we have to give it everything.’

The right approach

Stamford Bridge will have a full house for tomorrow evening’s game with Grimsby bringing a large following. Chelsea had a good record of negotiating ties against lower division opposition during Lampard’s playing days and he understands that attitude is key.

‘We appreciate the game being sold out and that is why the players must give their maximum. The fans will be there to support us and we must give them a spectacle to enjoy. The young players who are involved on the night plus players who are not so young but pushing for regular starts have a nice pressure so hopefully the fans will see a team that is really firing.

‘What is crucial is the mentality of how you approach the match. You have to be absolutely professional, with a desire to win the game and a respect for the opponent. Grimsby are bringing a lot of fans. It is a huge game for them and rightly so and we have to respect that completely and get our end right, which is firstly how we prepare for the game and then how we approach it, and that is what we will do.’