(Football news) Frank Lampard has warned Mauricio Pochettino that he has his work cut out for him as new Chelsea manager. The Blues finished 12th in the Premier League, which was their worst ever points total in the competition and a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United concluded their miserable season despite spending a huge amount of money on new transfers. Lampard recorded just one win from 11 games and predicted a huge challenge for his successor while claiming that the standards have dropped at the club.
Speaking after the Premier League season ended, Lampard said “I’m a big fan of Pochettino as a manager, I think he’s a very good manager. But it’s not about which individual it might be, it’s about getting the right high level of manager. Pochettino’s history tells you he works at clubs of this sort of level and then letting him get to work with the players he creates a solid identity in a team that can win more games. Those things aren’t always overnight, so we have to be careful with expectations a little bit.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. That’s my synopsis after six weeks, the basics that I keep talking about – standards are so relevant to this club at the minute. Standards collectively have dropped – I can be honest about that as it’s my last game and I might not see some of them that much anyway! Standards as a collective for a club like Chelsea have to be at the maximum or you won’t be physically competitive enough, or you won’t be able to play at a high level, high speed the Premier League demands.
“If you’re not together in the dressing room and vocal in the dressing room, and driving each other and competing because ‘I want your place and you want mine’… Every top team has to have that. When I came in, very quickly I could see that wasn’t there enough. Of course a very good manager can help that but everyone has to take responsibility. When you’re Chelsea and you have a season like we’ve had there are obviously lots of things to improve. The next manager will need a pre-season. We’re not physically competitive enough, that’s a strong opinion I have.
“The new manager can get the squad into the place he needs it to be – the squad has been too big and that has been the biggest challenge, coming in to work with players who for whatever reason are disillusioned. Those situations can be sorted out now and they need to be. Some of the players have been mindful of [uncertainty about their future at Chelsea] for a while and that’s part of the problem. It’s hard to compete in this league if players are in that middle ground – whether the club wants them to leave or they want to leave, we can get to the bottom of it.
“The dressing room was pretty quiet [after the draw with Newcastle] and it’s been a quiet dressing room since I got here. The players are probably sort of happy to take a break. They have to take responsibility for this season but it’s up to them to go and show the pride and dedication it needs to be a Chelsea player.”