Chelsea stars left miserable as Lampard explains Pochettino delay

Lampard outlines issues at play for Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino appears to be in no particular rush to get to Chelsea and Frank Lampard thinks he knows why. The interim head coach is preparing for the London derby against Arsenal before matches against Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle back-to-back-to-back to complete what has been a problematic season at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile talks are said to be progressing very steadily with former Tottenham manager Pochettino about taking over at the end of the season. “We are at that stage of the season now where we understand that we are not going to get into Europe,” Lampard said.

“Other managers are probably going, ‘I’ll take a look at this and wait till pre-season when I can enforce what I want to do.’ It’s not silly on their part – we’ve got the top four in the run-in and that is going to be a difficult process of games.

“At the same time, do the club’s owners need to take their time to get the right manager? Yeah, they absolutely should do.” Todd Boehly and his cohorts took over the club at the end of May last year and after falling out with incumbent Thomas Tuchel, they first plumped for former Brighton manager Graham Potter.

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He subsequently described it as “the hardest job in football”. Goodness knows what he would make of the situation Lampard has got himself into. The players are miserable after losing their last five games; holidays have already been booked.

They know Lampard will have no long-term influence at the club and they suspect that Pochettino has already been chosen to be the one to oversee a major cull of talent in the summer. Lampard added: “There are definitely challenges, as you have laid out. But I have also booked my holidays in June – but I am no less motivated to face Arsenal just because I am going to America or something.

“It is not going to work that way for me and it is not going to work that way for the players I understand – and I also understand young lads who are maybe considering their futures, considering what next year might look like for them, and I can’t expect everybody in a 30-man squad to walk in with a big smile on their face.”

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Lampard has vowed to stay in place for the entire season come what may if required. But is he not concerned about what so many poor results is doing to his personal managerial ambitions beyond SW6.

“My playing career has given me a level of comfort so that I don’t have to be concerned,” he insisted. “I just have to make decisions and enjoy working. I have got pride and I want to do this job as well as I can but I am not thinking, ‘What might this mean for me?’

“I enjoy a challenge. Will I come out a slightly better coach than I was? I think probably yes. I came out of Chelsea last time better, I came out of Everton better and I will come out of this again better. I’m the manager of Chelsea Football Club – and that’s not a bad position to be in. And, as I said, I’ve got my holidays booked!”

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