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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has shown empathy to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ahead of Saturday’s showdown between the two sides.
While Lampard is higher up the table, Arteta’s side are currently languishing in 15th place just above the drop zone.
Arteta is the youngest manager in the Premier League, while Lampard is next to him, but the Blues manager has shown support to the young Gunners manager and claims that the club’s struggle has nothing to do with his age.
Lampard has also asked for time for the managers to build a strong team like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have done.
He told Sky Sports: “Expectations are higher at clubs like the ones we are both managing, but I don’t think it’s a case of him being a young manager. ‘I see him as a very talented manager, and we’ve seen examples of clubs who have built really strong squads over the last three or four years.
“The dominant teams over that period, Manchester City and Liverpool, have had time to work and improve the squad.
“They went through tough moments, and they were given time to improve through those moments. It’s only then that you really learn about players, the team and the squad as a whole. I’m not talking specifically about Mikel here, but just generally in the Premier League.
“If you come into a club that’s going through a period of certain transition, I think it’s very understandable there will be lots of situations and work that you need to do in order to get the club where you want it to be. It’s not all rosy as that’s not football.
“That’s not to do with the manager. I think Mikel is a highly talented coach and manager, and his team are really just going through a recent patch of difficult form.
“That’s very commonplace in the Premier League as it’s a very tough league. I’ve got huge respect for Mikel and for Arsenal. They have a quality set of players and that’s the team I’m preparing for on Boxing Day.”