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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has kicked against a number of things going on this season, chief of which is the three substitutes requirements, compared to the five subs that was used last season and is still being used in Europe and other top leagues.
Chelsea play the first game of the weekend, and Lampard has already ruled out Thiago Silva, who has made 11,000km journey back from Montevideo, having been called up by Brazil for international duty.
It isn’t just the substitute rules Lampard is fighting against. The Chelsea manager was left disgruntled when half of his players were yet to return from international duty 48 hours before kick-off.
With Chelsea given an early lunchtime kick-off away at Newcastle, Lampard is in no good mood ahead of the game.
“The broadcasters have never had as many slots or games as they have now,” Lampard said.
“With that 12.30pm slot on a Saturday, you have to ask how much does it need to be there? If you’re looking over the course of a season at four or five international breaks, can we not change the time?
“With the amount of things we’ve changed due to Covid-19, Project Restart and now this season because of the incredible times, we have to continue looking for the best way to change it and it’s not a difficult conversation to have. The answer is to stop talking and act upon it.
“It’s absolutely not the optimum way to prepare for a game in the Premier League, which is an incredible brand around the world. It’s very difficult for us to prepare for this game anywhere near our best. I want us to play to our best but these are very difficult circumstances.”