Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s caretaker manager, has said that team morale is a big concern for his team at this point in the season.
The Blues have lost their last five games in all competitions and are on a winless run of eight. Two points from their last six Premier League games have seen them drop to 12th in the table and they face the daunting prospect of a trip through London to take on title contenders Arsenal on Tuesday.
Since the last loss, a 2-0 defeat at home to Brentford, there have been numerous reports that the Chelsea dressing room is at an all time low. And while Lampard was reluctant to validate such extreme claims, he confessed that trust is a real problem.
“We’re not in a great moment,” he began. “We have to put it in perspective. We have to work in all aspects as a club to return to the feeling and the position in which we want to be.
“Our job is to work on the performance and mentality of the group, to try to bring good feelings. I was well aware of the challenges. The reality of football is that your career will not be full of success. You can’t always control the results, but you can control how you work every day.
“They have low confidence and also underperform, so you shouldn’t do everything with confidence. You can only work to get a level of performance and then regain confidence. Nobody likes to lose games. I had moments here as a player where we fell as a team and we had to pick it up. We managed to recover it with a lot of work, squad level. We change managers a lot in some of those periods.
“It’s different now: the modern player, the team we have, the expectations. The only thing we can do is consider the moment now and the future as a club. Work hard to get the team to where we want, also to get the players to perform, so that that word of trust is not a big word like the one I use in my press conference every week. In a club like this, you should work hard, you shouldn’t talk about trust in the team. It’s clearly an issue right now that needs to be addressed. It is only approached with own responsibility to do better”.
Lampard compared Chelsea in its current form to the start of Mikel Arteta’s time in charge of Arsenal, highlighting the challenges of starting a new era and the need for patience.
“It’s interesting to compare the history of Arsenal,” he said. “We all had a little idea of the Amazon series. When you see what they are producing now… there is a long process to get to where you want to be.
“I remember playing against Mikel’s teams in the early stages, now they have a very, very clear identity, clear hiring, change of squad. There has been a lot of work for that, through Mikel, line-up and good recruiting.
“Do we have the possibility to do that? Yes. Will it take a lot of time and good decisions along the way? Absolutely. You can get there. He is a credit to Arsenal. The coach, owners and players were being questioned. That process can take two or three years, which it has done. Within that, you have to make a lot of right decisions. It’s great to see a club stay with one manager when maybe another club has changed managers two or three times.”