Home News Premier League Frank Lampard defends Carney Chukwuemeka’s decision as our player

Frank Lampard defends Carney Chukwuemeka’s decision as our player


Frank Lampard has defended Chelsea’s decision to keep Carni Chukwuemeka out of the England U20 squad for the World Cup in Argentina.

The 19-year-old is one of only two club players not to have been selected by manager Ian Foster, with midfielder Lewis Hall also saying he should stay until the end of the season.

Hall started when Chelsea drew against Nottingham Forest last weekend and Lampard signaled he would play his part in his team’s remaining three matches, but Chukwuemeka has only started twice since December and hasn’t featured in any from the last eight games.

Lampard said injuries have made it necessary for the club to keep the former Aston Villa player, who joined Stamford Bridge last summer on a £20m deal, until the end of the season.

“He’s a Chelsea player and we have injuries in that area,” said Lampard. “The situation with Carney is that he came to the club, it was a big step for him, and this season he has not managed to get so many minutes. He settles in a new club.

“Hopefully in these three games he has an opportunity and he is also our player and even though we have lost players we need him to stay.

“There is a possibility that he will join us at the end of the season if the team advances to the next stages. Ideally, it could be the best of both worlds.

“But he is our player and we had to make a decision. Carney really wanted to leave, but at the same time, what happened meant he had to stay.”

Chelsea will take on newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday in what will be the first match for Pep Guardiola’s side since they retained the crown they’ve won in each of the previous two seasons.

Their third consecutive triumph was confirmed by Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It’s Guardiola’s fifth title since he arrived in England in 2016 and his personal best could be further gilded in June if City add an FA Cup and Champions League to secure the treble.

Lampard, who has lost six of his eight games as Chelsea interim manager since his appointment in early April, was asked about the frustration of trying to repeat his success as a player since taking over the club.

“All managers have different situations,” Lampard said. “What club do you work for, what is the version of success in the club you work for.

“Knowing Pep a bit and watching him work a couple of days after I finished playing, it’s clear that he has an incredible football brain and an amazing work ethic. I think if I can try to follow it my way, that’s the best thing I can do, that’s the way to do it.

“It’s not that hard, you just understand that going to Everton and trying to keep them in the league is a compromise. You need to come and train and play differently to get the result, which we did.

“When I had my first year at Chelsea and I went there and we had a young team that really wanted to learn, to try to do what was required of them, I think we made a really exciting team.

“The path to management is different for everyone because what you work with sometimes dictates how you may have to compromise. When you’re a player, you just focus on yourself. As a manager, you have to work with many other variables.”


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