Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Lampard calls on Barkley to prove his professionalism
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has called on Ross Barkley to prove he is a professional and show his worth on the pitch after another compromising video appeared starring the former Everton midfielder.
Barkley had previously hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in September when footage of the player arguing with a taxi driver was released.
The brawl, apparently sparked over a spilled packet of chips, ended with the 25-year-old being escorted to an ATM by police officers, and earned him a scolding from Lampard.
Now Lampard has once more been called upon to comment on the England international's behaviour after Barkley was filmed dancing topless in a nightclub in Dubai, where he was given permission to spend the November international break on leave as he looks to recover from injury.
"I think there are two separate issues. One is the headlines this week, Ross knows how I felt about the first headline," the manager told reporters when questioned on the incident.
"I backed him then, I still back him now but he showed a moment of a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned. And it’s not something that I want to be a pure dictator on and come down hard because I also understand that all my players are humans and have lives and I don’t police every moment of their life.
"So I don’t think it’s a terrible thing that he’s done but all Ross needs to do now, he’s had an injury and he’s still kind of carrying the injury – he still gets a bit of pain on shooting – so he just has to work his way back in.
"In terms of the fitness thing, he trained well and I certainly don’t hold anything against my players.
"I like Ross, he’s firmly one of my players and I think it was something he needs to show all his reactions on the pitch."
Chelsea are back in action on Wednesday in what could prove to be a crucial Champions League fixture.
In the penultimate round of the group stage the Blues visit Valencia, with both sides as well as current leaders Ajax deadlocked on seven points each.
Victory for Lampard's men by a two-goal margin or more would ensure they finish above Los Che and reach the last-16, while defeat would take qualification out of their hands and needing Ajax to drop points against Lille and Valencia in their final two outings.
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