Start taking risks! Frank Lampard urges young stars to be brave after Bournemouth defeat as Chelsea boss faces his first serious test
- Frank Lampard was less than pleased with his side after defeat to Bournemouth
- Dan Gosling’s goal was the difference between the two sides at Stamford Bridge
- Lampard is facing his first serious test in charge as he wants stars to be braver
One English manager stopped a clock on a bad run, another might just be driven to distraction by the continued ticking.
What we cannot know at this point is whether this is merely a drama for Frank Lampard, or something more severe.
The worry is that he is now fully immersed in the first serious test of his Chelsea reign and those fresh young things of autumn are looking rather tired in winter.
Frank Lampard wants his young players to show more bravery after defeat by Bournemouth
Mason Mount was left stunned after the Blues were stunned late on in an underwhelming loss
Lampard spoke on multiple fronts in the aftermath of a jolting and underwhelming defeat by Bournemouth, touching on issues ranging from fatigue, to conceding too many goals, to not converting enough chances, to needing the ‘balls’ to take risks.
All points were measured in their delivery and none were what might be termed an attack on those in his charge.
But there was urgency in the message because there is urgency in Chelsea’s situation after four defeats in five league games. Narrow losses at Manchester City are easily accepted, but West Ham, Everton and a Bournemouth side who were in danger of their worst run for 25 years? Harder to wash.
Lampard senses the urgency of Chelsea’s situation after four defeats in five league games
Tammy Abraham has been a bright light this season but struggled to impact on Saturday
A fear, or one for those who have enjoyed watching Lampard rely on younger players, is that the timing of this slump might exacerbate the business Chelsea do in January now their transfer ban has been lifted.
It is clear that Chelsea have a pressing need to improve their attacking output. Even with Tammy Abraham having the season to inspire all young strikers, they are second in the league for shots, yet fourth for goals scored. They went nought for 18 in this game alone.
The problem here was more pronounced, though. As Lampard put in his comment on ‘balls’, there was too much fear, too much reluctance to take a risk on breaking Bournemouth’s impressively and surprisingly tight lines.
The younger players were occasionally guilty at Stamford Bridge, but so too were the more experienced ones. ‘I suppose if you are a young player and the door shuts on you a few times in the game, it can be easy to not try to open it again, and that probably comes from experience,’ Lampard said.
He indicated he would give the kids some leeway, adding: ‘If you are looking at it from that side, I can definitely give some space to the young players.
There were joyous celebrations from Bournemouth after they got a much-needed victory
‘They may have these days but through the squad we have got and the team on the pitch against Bournemouth, we needed to do more. We know we have conceded a lot and that is the nature of the Premier League in the modern day.
‘Even if you look at Liverpool, who are flying, they haven’t kept many clean sheets. We also need to score more, for sure. It is clear we are creating too many chances we are not taking.’
For Eddie Howe, Bournemouth’s losing run stopped at five with this defensive display of immaculate discipline, and Gosling’s late scoop that VAR showed was not offside.
But with nine players injured, he admitted even training sessions are a challenge. ‘I’ve got no guarantee anyone will be back for the next game,’ Howe said.
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