Bournemouth left Stamford Bridge with three points on Saturday, with a coach who has enjoyed plenty of seasons this season now facing a few lows
Frank Lampard admits “safe” Chelsea are not a side he wants to be the manager of, with the Blues needing to rediscover their spark and deliver more excitement for themselves and a loyal fan base.
Those in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday had little to shout about.
Bournemouth left west London with a 1-0 win, with Chelsea having now come unstuck in four of their last five Premier League fixtures.
Lampard had been earning plenty of plaudits prior to hitting a mini-slump, with his Blues side playing with youthful exuberance and without fear.
The wheels have started to come off, with the man calling the shots admitting that he expects more from a team associated with him.
Lampard told reporters when quizzed on what has happened to Chelsea: “I don’t know about fear but in front of our own fans it’s clear now we aren’t playing well enough and getting enough results.
“Up until now I think a lot of it – and I said this after Lille – was we’re not taking enough chances because we’re creating a lot and we’re giving away some silly goals. Today wasn’t a ‘we’re creating loads of chances day’, we created two or three great chances and we need to take them if we want to improve, but today we just didn’t get the fans excited enough.
“The fans shouldn’t be excited if we’re going to play 10 balls across our back four. They shouldn’t be. I think that’s not the team I want to manage.”
Lampard added on those in the stands: “I don’t blame the fans. I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say the fans were flat today and we needed them.
“I would be the first, but today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there today, I’d also say ‘pfft, too slow. Centre-back to centre-back, full-back to full-back, back to centre-back, back to full-back and I don’t want to come and see that’.
“So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will come to Southampton on Boxing Day and some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards.”
Lampard now has to find a way of getting Chelsea back on track.
Pressed on how he intends to achieve that, the Blues boss said: “Urgency in our play. If you’re transferring the ball, transfer it quickly from side to side. If you’re playing through the lines because that’s the kind of player you are, get it through the lines. If you’re an attacking player get at people, do things that are positive, don’t play safe. We played generally too safe during the game.”
Lampard has been eager to play down expectations throughout his reign, as a Premier League coaching novice and a man who took on a high-profile post in the middle of a transfer embargo.
He admits that some harsh lessons are being handed out, but claims to have expected that to happen.
“I’m disappointed but I think I got asked at all these press conferences when we were winning on the bounce about how good we were and how quickly it’s all changed. I was always guarded against that.
“Whether I’ve been proven right or whatever, the best way to put that is now we have the reality, that if we’re not at our best, if we haven’t got enough to break teams down that are organised, if players with their individual quality and personality can’t do something to beat teams that are organised, then we need to find another way. That’s a test and that’s hard work needed for us.”