Frank Lampard the training standards of his Chelsea players in a pretty revealing set of comments from after the Blues’ loss to Manchester United.
The game was much as we’ve seen all season – some bright flashes, some awful missed chances, some really careless defending. But it was what Lampard spoke about after the game was done that was really interesting.
In his time back at the club as caretaker so far he’s stopped short of criticising the players too heavily – perhaps knowing how quickly that would turn them against him.
But now he’s into his last week in the role he’s opened up a little more. Today he was open and honest about what he called “glaringly short” collective preparation for games.
His response today to questions about what was going on behind the scenes were a total admission that standards have slipped behind the scenes.
“It’s a question I think as a professional at the top level, will be asked of you in a period of bad form.
“The only way to answer that is to answer with your performance and it starts with how you work and how you train and how you prepare and if I’m honest collectively that’s been the thing that was quite glaringly short,” he said after the game.
“There are a lot of reasons for that, that’s not just a dig, that’s because there sometimes are variables. It’s been a tough season, people talk about the squad size, very valid things.
“At the same time, coming in this short period, you can see, when a group is training and it’s really together and pushing and pushing each other, then good things come and you as an individual improve within that.
“At the moment, that momentum is not there, it’s clear.”
Of course he’s used to training of the very highest standards from his days as a player, but clearly he also sees a drop since his last spell as manager, which was only a couple of years ago.
The upheaval of the last 12 months seems to have caused more damage than we could possibly have imagined.