Rio Ferdinand said Frank Lampard has sent a message to his Chelsea squad with the team selections in Sunday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.
It didn’t go exactly as planned. N’Golo Kante and Willian who were expected to feature weren’t fit enough to play, and Lampard also lost his captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic due to injuries during the game.
But Ferdinand believes how Lampard picked his starting eleven was a warning for the Chelsea players.
He told BT Sport (quoted by the Metro): “I think it puts a marker down and tells you, Frank Lampard is a manager who isn’t scared to make big decisions.”
Ferdinand pointed out how Lampard didn’t hesitate to bench Kepa, a £70million goalkeeper, despite the pressure to play such a big signing.
“Frank has said ‘I don’t care what you say he is not for me’,” he added.
“That sends an absolute message down to the rest of the squad no matter who you are and what level you think you are, if you don’t do a job on that pitch you will not play.
“It is a huge statement and I think it is great from Frank. As a young manager making big decisions, he ain’t scared.”
The former England defender also highlighted Chelsea’s early transfer activities in signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner as big statements from Lampard.
“He’s set his stall out early and for a manager so young into his career I think it bodes well for the future for him,” he added about Chelsea’s summer signings.