Lampard insists Arsenal remain ‘in the hunt’ for the title as Chelsea fear ‘big reaction’ to City loss

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Lampard told to quit Chelsea Credit: Alamy
Lampard told to quit Chelsea Credit: Alamy

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is prepared for a “big reaction” from Arsenal following their 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.

The Gunners are now second in the Premier League, one point behind the reigning champions, who also have a game in hand.

Four games without a win has had a huge effect on Arsenal’s title challenge with City in outstanding form across all competitions.

Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to The Emirates on Tuesday night, Lampard admits that he is unsure if it is a good time to play Mikel Arteta’s side.

“It could be either way,” the Blues caretaker boss said. “Very much in the hunt still to win the league.

“If they’re wounded they could have a big reaction, if we can make things difficult, it could be different.

“They’re fully in it. Manchester City are in incredible form but they’re in it.”

After giving ex-Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 45 minutes against Brentford last week, Lampard was asked if the Gabonese striker could feature on Tuesday.

“We’ll see. (We have) got Auba, got Kai, got David Fofana.

On if he has considered Aubameyang’s connection to Arsenal, Lampard said: “Not really… possibly, I’ve not delved into that too much.”

With Chelsea currently 12th in the Premier League, six points off the top half, Lampard insists this sort of season “can be pretty normal” for a club of the Blues’ stature.

“I also lived 10 years of success here and saw it continue,” he said. “It can be pretty normal of all of the top clubs in the league.

“Our opponents are good example of that. We need to work on all aspects of the club to get the feeling of where we want to be.”

“I came in with my eyes wide open. We’re trying to bring back good feeling.

“I’m very proud to manage the club and I enjoy doing my job. Reality of football is your career won’t be full of success. You can’t always control results but you can control the work.”

Lampard says the players are lacking confidence, which is “clearly an issue at the minute”.

“They’re low on confidence and low on performance,” the ex-Chelsea midfielder said.

“I’ve been here in periods where confidence is low. In history we managed to get it back through hard work, level of the squad, we changed manager a lot.

“It’s different now in terms of the modern player and what expectations are.

“You shouldn’t be talking about team confidence but it’s clearly an issue at the minute.”

After comparing Chelsea’s situation to Arsenal’s in recent years, Lampard was asked if the Blues can experience a similar turnaround.

“It’s interesting to compare,” he said. “We all had an insight to Arsenal through the Amazon series.

“There’s a long process to get where you want and I remember playing Mikel’s early teams and sometimes it was a five, sometimes a four – now you see they have a clear identity.

“If we talk about it as just this season… you have to go back to the tough periods.

“I saw times when the manager was being questioned and that process can take two or three years. Another club may have changed manager two or three times.”

Lampard confirmed that Kalidou Koulibaly is “out for a while”, meanwhile, Marc Cucurella remains unavailable for “another two weeks or so”.

READ MORE: Chelsea are the very worst Premier League club when going behind

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