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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard dismisses criticism over defensive style of play

Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard says he wants to play attacking football but insists being defensive was the only way to set up against Real Madrid.

The former England international has received plenty of flack for setting Chelsea up to play defensively.

In Chelsea’s last game against Brentford, the Blues lined up with only one recognised attacker – Raheem Sterling.

His attacking cohorts consisted of Conor Gallagher and N’Golo Kante, while Ben Chilwell and Cesar Azpilicueta played as wing-backs.

Even Brentford boss Thomas Frank said he was surprised by the respect Chelsea paid the Bees.

However, Lampard said while he wants to play attacking football, he must consider other aspects of the game.

Lampard said (via Chelsea’s official website): “Coming in here, I think the systems have changed a lot and that hasn’t brought an answer. I don’t think there is one answer or the other.

“For Real Madrid, I got criticised going into the game for being too defensive but for me, that was the only way to approach that game.

“After 60 minutes, we could have been 1-0 or 2-0 up and then that game and the whole tie looks different.

“Brentford was different. Managers sometimes have to compromise. At the moment, with where we are, there are things we have to look at, and we think ‘Well, that didn’t work properly so we cannot be that fluid like we have tried to be’.”

“We went to Wolves with 4-3-3 and we didn’t win. After the events, there are not always absolute answers.

“Do I want to play more free-flowing football? Yes. When I was here before people maybe thought we were almost too free-flowing at times.”

Lampard continues to search for his first win in his second spell in charge of the Blues. The 44-year-old has only managed to make Chelsea worse.

The Blues have lacked any tactical identity since he arrived, as he has constantly switched between formations.

Under Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, Chelsea managed to be defensively resolute while struggling to score.

Under Lampard, there is no sign of defensive organisation while their problems in the final third persist.

The issue of the defensive organisation was a problem in Lampard’s first spell.

The Blues conceded 54 league goals in the 2019/20 season. No side in the top ten conceded more.

Things won’t get any easier for Lampard in his next game in charge. They face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The Gunners will go into the clash with some confidence against a hapless Chelsea team that cannot wait for this miserable season to end.

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