Chelsea: Should Lampard be given more time to succeed?
Frank Lampard has warned Chelsea attackers Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have to be shown patience after ending lengthy goal droughts for the Blues in the FA Cup win over League Two visitors Morecambe. Lampard insists the duo need more time to improve before they can help Chelsea become major title contenders in the Premier League, insisting that there is “work to do” with the entire team.
The two Germany internationals cost Chelsea around £130million in the summer with Havertz joining from Bayer Leverkusen and Werner arriving from RB Leipzig but neither have yet to fully assert themselves at Stamford Bridge.
Havertz, still only 21, scored Chelsea’s fourth and final goal in their third-round triumph over Morecambe having earlier set up Werner’s effort.
That puts Havertz on five goals and six assists in 22 games across all competitions this term, a respectable return given his indifferent performance levels.
Much of his best form for Leverkusen last term came in the No 10 role or as a false nine whereas he has been regularly deployed as an attack-minded No 8 in a three-man midfield under Lampard.
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Werner, older than his compatriot at 24 years old, has spent much of his time in west London on the left wing and has scored nine goals, added to six assists, in 25 games.
And the Chelsea boss said of his much-maligned summer signings post-match: “I think the level, I can’t call that because there are endless levels Kai can go up, because of the potential of the player and he’s young.
“He had COVID and suffered a bit and has come back. Today I saw and again in the week in training I saw him fitter and stronger.
“There are levels for Kai to go up, but again we have to remain patient. He’s come here with a huge amount of talent, but has to get accustomed to the league.
“We as a club must support him in that, now and for the future. It’s a small step in the big picture, but a good step.”
Lampard added: “People talk about the youth in the squad but what we can’t ask for the youth is for them to be killers and to be consistent.
“That will come but for the moment their contributions are good. I’m pleased for Timo because strikers want to score goals.
“He has had plenty of near misses in that time. He’d been getting into positions to score goals but they hadn’t been going in for him.
“I was pleased to play him today and for him to get confidence and get a goal. He gets his goal and that’s important.
“With him and Kai coming into the Premier League, some of the greatest Premier League players have needed time to settle to the league. And it’s a nice little step for both of them.
“What we have at the club, particularly in forward areas apart from Oli for obvious reasons, is a lot of young players who have a lot of potential or are new to the league.
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“When you look around the Premier League and the players at the top of the scoring charts year in, year out are 27, 28, 29 years old. They are established and have worked their way to the top of the Premier League. And they produce week in, week out.
“With our players, people look at price tags and expect them to be producing at those sort of levels.
“I think they will do but there is work to be done to produce the numbers that will hopefully make up the gap to challenge for league titles.
“I played in teams that won titles and you need those forwards who score 20-plus and those defenders who will keep clean sheets.
“You need those players throughout the team. For us, we have huge potential and some who have been there and done it. And that’s where we’re at at the moment. There is work to do.”
The Blues cruised into the fourth round after birthday boy Mason Mount set the hosts on their way with a fine strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
Werner then scored his first goal in 13 games to double the lead before the break with Callum Hudson-Odoi making it 3-0 soon after the interval.
Havertz added late gloss to the scoreline with his first goal since October 17 to add to his assist for Werner’s effort.
Chelsea’s win means they still have not fallen at the third-round hurdle of the FA Cup since 1997-98 and were runners up last year, losing to Arsenal at Wembley in the final.
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Having won the cup five times since 2007 and eight times overall, only Arsenal and Manchester United have been more successful in this competition.
And Lampard, who desperately needed victory due to growing pressure surrounding his future as manager, added: “Yes, we got what we wanted from the team. It’s not easy when you’re expected to win, which is right with our squad.
“They made it difficult for us early on but we did well and got our goals, and it will give confidence for the lads.
“It will give us a bit of confidence, but I don’t want to overstate that because of the nature of the game.
“We’ve had a period where we haven’t had a good run, and we need to get better results. And the only way out for us is to work hard, and the lads worked hard this week in training.”
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