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“More than normal” – Lampard lifts the lid on his relationship with Bielsa after spy gate issue

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Frank Lampard says his relationship with Marcelo Bielsa is "normal". (GETTY Images)

Frank Lampard says relationship with Bielsa is “normal”

Speaking in the pre-match press conference (h/t The Guardian) before Chelsea play Leeds United in the Premier League, Frank Lampard denied any long-standing rivalry with Marcelo Bielsa.

The talks of a ‘rivalry’ stem from 2019 when a Leeds staff member was caught spying on the training session of Frank Lampard’s Derby County, which led to an angry response from the then Derby boss.

Bielsa’s Leeds were fined £200,000 which led to the Whites fans belting out the infamous ‘Stop Crying Frank Lampard’ during the 2019 Championship playoff semi-final, which Derby County won.

Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa will rekindle their rivalry this weekend. (GETTY Images)
Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa will rekindle their rivalry this weekend. (GETTY Images)

Speaking about the impact of ‘Spygate’ on his relationship with Bielsa, Lampard says that their relationship is “more than normal“.

Our relationship is the same as it’s always been. I suppose we had one little tiff, but … with somebody who doesn’t speak the language there’s obviously communication problems and then you just have respect for each other. Our relationship is normal, more than normal.”

The incident took place when Leeds United were in the Championship and Frank Lampard was the manager of Derby County, and the English manager says he can look back to that incident as a fond memory.

Chelsea can go to the top of the Premier League table if they beat Leeds United. (GETTY Images)
Chelsea can go to the top of the Premier League table if they beat Leeds United. (GETTY Images)

Times have changed, and both managers are now managers in the Premier League and are impressing with their football on the pitch.

This will be the first time that Chelsea and Leeds United go head to head since 2004, when Leeds were relegated from the Premier League.

A win for Chelsea on Saturday would see them temporarily go to the top of the Premier League table above Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, both of whom play on Sunday.

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Frank Lampard disagrees with rival PL manager regarding Stamford Bridge expectations

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Frank Lampard is impressed with Kurt Zouma

Lampard plays down fears that Chelsea job could ‘destroy’ his career

According to The Independent, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard disagrees with Brendan Rodgers regarding the impact the Stamford Bridge job can have on his career.

The North Irishman, now in charge of Leicester City served as a coach at Chelsea in his formative years. Now a competent manager in his own right, he has done an excellent job at the King Power Stadium.

Rodgers was touted as a contender for the Chelsea hot seat following Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking in 2012. The then-Swansea boss distanced himself from the news, suggesting that the job could prove to be a poisoned chalice.

Frank Lampard disagrees with Brendan Rodgers' assessment of the Chelsea job
Frank Lampard disagrees with Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of the Chelsea job (GETTY Images)

Nine years on, Lampard believes Rodgers may see things in a different light. He, however, understands where Rodgers is coming from given that he was part of the playing squad back then.

“I don’t want to speak for Brendan when he said that, but I suppose at that time maybe there was a turnaround of managers, I was a player here so I get that.”

It was a particularly turbulent moment where the Blues saw five different men take charge of the club within a 25-month period.

Frank Lampard disagrees with Brendan Rodgers' assessment of the Chelsea job
Both managers face off in the Premier League later today

Lampard believes today’s team is not the one that Rodgers took exception to. The Blues were back then a veritable powerhouse challenging for the biggest trophies in the game.

The same cannot be said today as we continue to build a young core capable of getting us back to the glory days. Lampard for his part is keen to just focus on the job that is in front of him.

“For me all I can do is tackle the job that’s in front of me.”

Lampard believes expectations of managing a top club such as Chelsea always brings pressure. Those in the hot seat will need to be able to manage it while thriving under the pump.

“If we’re seen not to get to them, then pressure comes; that’s why we’re in this job, to be able to handle that.”

Chelsea have won just one of the last five PL games
Lampard is keen to revive Chelsea’s fortunes

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Lampard’s words are encouraging and hopefully, he can turn around our fortunes. With the club going through a rough spell, the pressure on him is mounting.

Rodgers and Lampard will face off later tonight in a key match that could impact the top-four race. Lampard has a chance to showcase to Rodgers just how good his team can be on their day.

The match will also see Ben Chilwell make his return to the King Power Stadium, just months after swapping it for the Bridge.

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Rival boss offers Lampard advice on how to get the best out of struggling Chelsea star

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Timo Werner is going through a rough patch at the moment

Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Frank Lampard should play Chelsea star Timo Werner upfront

Chelsea star Timo Werner has struggled to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge. While he continues to do well off the ball, his inability to find the back of the net has been troubling.

The German has now gone 10 Premier League games without a goal and has been guilty of missing some gilt-edged chances.

Predominantly deployed as a left-winger, Werner has enjoyed mixed success on the wing. According to the Daily Mail, his former boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has hinted that the player is at his best while leading the line.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged Frank Lampard to play Timo Werner upfront at Chelsea.
Timo Werner has struggled to score goals for Chelsea (Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS PUBLICATION via imago Images)

The Austrian managed Werner during his initial days at RB Leipzig. He has a high opinion of the player and has also seen him during his poor streaks of form.

“Most of the time when I have seen this is because of the reason that the game doesn’t fit to him. The team didn’t play in the way he can bring his best on the pitch, I think.”

He believes most of it can be attributed to the team’s tactics not being tailored to bring the best out of the 24-year-old.

“He is definitely a player where you have to adapt your game on him. If you do this, he will give you everything you need from a striker.”

Hasenhuttl managed Werner at Leipzig
Hasenhuttl managed Werner at Leipzig

Playing to the strengths!

Hasenhuttl also went on to add that it is upfront that Werner thrives. This is true as he predominantly excelled as a striker for Leipzig. The German ace averages 0.7 goal contributions per game for Chelsea while playing upfront. In comparison, it falls to 0.6 when he is played out wide. (h/t Transfermarkt)

“You really need to bring him into his best position so he can bring his strength on the pitch and then for me, he is one of the best strikers in Europe.”

It appears to be something Lampard too has realised. He has started Werner up front in Chelsea’s last three Premier League games.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged Frank Lampard to play Timo Werner upfront at Chelsea.
Werner has failed to score in his last 10 Premier League games

The Blues boss has often spoken of his belief and support for Werner. He was seen consoling the striker at full time against Fulham. Hopefully, the duo will be seen celebrating more in the weeks to come.

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Werner has made 26 appearances for Chelsea this season. During this time he has scored nine goals and assisted six more. (h/t Transfermarkt)

One of the best strikers on his day, he will hopefully return to doing what he does best – score at will.

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Transfer News: Chelsea star’s loan switch to European outfit could still fall through

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Frank Lampard says that Fikayo Tomori has a long-term future at Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori’s loan move to AC Milan could yet fall through

According to Sky Sports, Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori is close to joining AC Milan on loan. However, the transfer could still fall through.

It was revealed by the Rossoneri technical director Paolo Maldini. He went on to add that all it takes is one detail to call off what looked to be an imminent switch.

“It’s very close, we’re in between confirming his signing and not signing him at all, it could all break down with just one detail.”

Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori is close to joining AC Milan on loan. The transfer could still fall through
Chelsea and AC Milan are still in negotiations over Fikayo Tomori

Both clubs still have a major issue to iron out. One of them appears to be the loan fee. Chelsea are seeking more than the £890,000 that Milan has offered.

With Marina Granovskaia seeking a significantly higher £2.6m for the player, the deal has come to a standstill. The quicker we can reach an agreement, the better it will be for the player.

Given that his development has come to a standstill, gaining regular playtime in Italy will help rekindle Tomori’s career. He is unlikely to get much action at Chelsea and it is in both his and our interest that we reach an agreement.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia wants Milan to increase their bid for Tomori
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia wants Milan to increase their bid for Tomori (Imago Images)

Maldini admits that Milan considers Tomori to be a good fit with the defenders already at the San Siro. The 23-year-old showed plenty of promise last season but has fallen down the pecking order this time around.

“We saw in him the quality to throw him into the mix with our current defenders, so that’s why we want him.”

The Italian giants have been following the defender’s progress for some time now. Their interest last summer came to a grinding halt after it emerged that Antonio Rudiger would stay put.

Lampard has a long term plan for Tomori
Lampard has a long term plan for Tomori

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With just days left before the January window closes, Chelsea and Milan will need to come to an amicable agreement. The move could prove beneficial to all three parties.

Lampard admitted recently that Tomori has a future at Stamford Bridge. The defender could give his case a further push provided he impresses at San Siro. (h/t Daily Mail)

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Lampard reveals what Chelsea are missing in the Premier League title race

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard thinks that other title challengers getting an extra 24 hours to prepare and recover is unfair. (GETTY Images)

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea lack an infallible goal scorer

According to the Daily Mail, Frank Lampard believes Chelsea lack an infallible goalscorer to aid their title push.

This despite the club spending big to bring in German ace Timo Werner in the summer. The 24-year-old has shown his brilliance in flashes but has so far failed to be replicate his gluttony for goals while at RB Leipzig.

The 24-year-old has scored just nine times in 26 games and looks short of confidence. While his off-the-ball movement has been excellent, the Blues have struggled with him failing to find the back of the net.

“We don’t have the history of players in those areas that this club has had before, who are goal machines or assist machines that win you games.”

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea lack an infallible goalscorer to aid their title push
Chelsea striker Timo Werner has struggled to score goals consistently

Ahead of the game against Leicester City, Lampard believes his side are too inexperienced and young to mount a title push. While that may be true, it does not present the manager in good light especially after an affluent summer.

“At the moment we are not quite where other teams around us maybe are at the front end of the pitch.”

Lampard also refused to be drawn into comparisons between Werner and former Blues striker Fernando Torres. The Spaniard went 14 games without a goal after his blockbuster move from Liverpool.

“Fernando Torres had difficult times here but came away winning the Champions League and being a pivotal player in that run to winning it, so I don’t think we should compare too much.”

Torres never quite reached the levels he performed at on a regular basis for the Merseysiders. Hopefully, Werner will not follow the same path.

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea lack an infallible goalscorer to aid their title push.
Timo Werner has struggled to score goals for Chelsea

Already lined up?

Chelsea have in recent days been linked with a summer move for Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland. The Norwegian is a clinical striker who has made it a habit of scoring goals for fun.

While he will surely boost our attack, a move will not be cheap. The Norwegian has a release clause of £66.6m, but it only kicks in at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Chelsea are preparing to pay more than that this summer in order to steal a march on the teams looking to sign him.

Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring for Borussia Dortmund. (GETTY Images)
Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring for Borussia Dortmund. (GETTY Images)

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While Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud have done their part to ease pressure on Werner, the German will need to establish himself as our numero uno upfront.

The Blues have a history of prolific scorers leading the line. Hopefully, Werner too will join that list soon.

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