Frank Lampard said he had learned about his players after their shock 2-0 home defeat by Southampton and not in a good way, which sounded ominous as the January transfer window looms. Chelsea hogged 67% of possession but they created precious little in the way of clear-cut chances and were picked off by Southampton, who scored through Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond.
Not for the first time Lampard lamented how his players had lacked personality in possession as they slipped to a third defeat in their past four home Premier League matches. If the team’s inconsistency persists, they will lose their grip on a top-four place.
Chelsea are free to trade next month after the club’s transfer ban was lifted and Lampard was asked whether this performance had given him a nudge in terms of recruitment. “I learn about the players and I learn about the players particularly in games like that,” he said tersely.
Lampard’s team previously lost 1-0 at home against Bournemouth and, a couple of weeks before that, 1-0 at home against West Ham. “It’s the same story,” Lampard said. “I’ll probably give you the exact same press conference as I gave after Bournemouth.
“If you’re an offensive player, play round the corner, join, mix up your game and break defensive lines because teams aren’t stupid – you need to do more in an attacking sense. Personality comes in – in lots of different ways. Today it was in a football sense: of finding and taking the ball into tight spaces and delivering something. We didn’t do it.
“If you are on the run we are on at home, there is more pressure because everyone talks about it. We feel it. People are coming here and respecting us as Chelsea because they are setting up in that way but we are not playing like the Chelsea that can break that down. It is a clear statement that you need a form of consistency to come in the top four. If we want to stay there, we have to move onwards and upwards. We need to win more than we have won recently at home.”