07:30 11 Aug 2019
Ahead of their Premier League opener away to Manchester United today, new Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has emphasised that his team must be “adaptable”.
The Blues club legend has been installed as the replacement for Maurizio Sarri, whose style of play was heavily criticised despite a top-four finish and UEFA Europa League glory.
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Lampard says he has little intention of playing out-and-out attacking football and is more likely to borrow from the pragmatism of another former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, and adapt his game plan according to the opposition.
“The philosophy question is a difficult one. You get asked it a lot. It gets linked straight to attacking football, and that is not what I am trying to do,” he explained.
“We have to be adaptable. The idea of playing attacking football every week in the Premier League – good luck with that. It’s tough.
“We need to be able to understand wherever we go in this league you may have to adapt slightly. We need to be ready to do that. It’s not just about can we go and play this free-flowing beautiful football.”
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He continued: “I mentioned how much I want us to be good off the ball.
“That’s actually my first call: how fit and how hard we can work without the ball, before talking about what we can do with the ball.
“I do believe in the talent of this squad, and they can play with freedom on the ball, but we must be difficult to play against. Attacking football, defensive football, it’s all the same.”