Paul Merson has criticised Frank Lampard’s lack of understanding of the different mentality among Chelsea players.
In his post-match interview after Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last month, Lampard criticised his players’ lack of effort.
“Not good enough,” Lampard said of his team’s performance in that game (Football Daily) before adding that the players must also take responsibility.
For Lampard, who was widely viewed as the epitome of hard work in his playing days, it was strange that these Chelsea players did not give their all in a London derby.
Merson believes this is one of the things Lampard must learn as a manager – that not everyone has ‘Frank Lampard’s mentality’.
“These players are not Frank Lampard. He’d go to the very end and run through a brick wall for you,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I can’t remember seeing him play a game, leave the pitch and thinking: ‘He could have given a bit more’.
“He needs to remember that these players are not him.
“When they were getting ripped to shreds by Man City, you could see the frustration on his face, because he’s thinking: ‘I wouldn’t allow this, show me something!’
“Frank needs to realise and understand that.”
According to data from Transfermarkt, Chelsea have won just twice after falling behind during games in the Premier League this season (from eight games, one draw, five losses).
Lampard might have believed that, as long as his players worked hard and did their job, everything would eventually work out, although the statistics show it has not always been the case.
After all, when Chelsea seemed to lose hope when Barcelona scored their second goal in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final in 2012, Lampard turned the situation around with a beautiful assist for Ramires.
However, as Merson pointed out, the current Chelsea players are not Frank Lampard.