Chelsea were soundly defeated by Manchester United on Thursday evening, and the 90 minutes simply confirmed Frank Lampard’s recent statements.
Manchester United actually had something to play for, so maybe it indicates where Chelsea are at the moment that they weren’t a little bit more careful than they were on Thursday.
The threat Chelsea posed on the break didn’t worry Erik ten Hag. Although it appeared at times that he was mistaken, just one goal was scored by the visitors, and that came with the Blues already fallen 4-0.
After a superb Christian Eriksen free kick, Casemiro headed the ball in. But after that, it was all Chelsea for the following 44 minutes. Chelsea were exhibiting some incredibly encouraging football. Without ever locating that game-winning ball, a lot of it was played at the United box’s edge.
Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke, Enzo Fernandez, and Hall, in particular, stood out. Four players that appeared to enjoy being on the field. Every time they lose the ball, they were upset; every time one of other players misplaced a pass, it was the same story. It was encouraging to see.
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And that, clearly, is not the only reason Chelsea has had such a difficult season. Some players haven’t seemed to care at times during this dreadful campaign. In fact, interim Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said it before the weekend’s loss to Manchester City.
He said: “I think if you are a player there are two ways you can look at it: you can go, ‘don’t fancy that because it is going to be too challenging’; or you go: ‘no, I’m going to show individually in my own way what I can do in a game, to show’.
“And since I have been here some of the players I can say will certainly do that. The other ones I want to see whether they want to show. Simple as that, in terms of performances.”
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea’s next head coach, must do everything in his power to eradicate this mindset as quickly as possible. The well-known expert in man-management from Argentina will just not put up with what Lampard has had to deal with.