It’s so easy to blame Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Kurt Zouma for the dropped points against Southampton on Saturday but Chelsea boss Frank Lampard should be receiving all the criticisms from fans.
It’s sad that after more than a year as Chelsea boss, we are still complaining about Lampard’s management of the team.
Chelsea had two strikers, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud, on the bench against Southampton but Lampard left out Mateo Kovacic.
Having two strikers on the bench and leaving out Kovacic, who can be very useful from the bench, made no sense.
Chelsea led 2-1 at halftime but it was obvious for everyone to see that Chelsea struggled as Southampton’s pressing intensity increased. Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were overwhelmed in midfield by Southampton’s press and the game needed a midfielder like Kovacic who could easily beat a press by dribbling past a player.
With Chelsea struggling in midfield, the game needed a switch from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 to ensure we had more numbers in midfield. Yet Lampard was too slow to react, persisting with a 4-2-3-1 system that brought great joy in the first half but malfunctioned upon the restart.
Kovacic took a full part in a rigorous warm down with the unused subs after the game, indicating that he was not carrying an injury, so it’s surprising he wasn’t on the bench.
Lampard has himself to blame for Chelsea’s dropped points against Southampton.