Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard is “spinning plates round his team”, according to Tony Cascarino, who thinks a club legend has been given the benefit of the doubt at Stamford Bridge due to having no “buying power” last summer.
The Blues suffered a 3-0 home defeat in opposition to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday night, which leaves them on the brink of elimination.
The Bundesliga champions dominated proceedings and carved out a quantity of clear probabilities earlier than subsequently taking the lead when Serge Gnabry turned Robert Lewandowski’s low go into the net six minutes into the 2nd half.
Gnabry added a second moments later, playing a neat one-two with Lewandowski before firing an remarkable left-footed shot past Willy Caballero.
Lewandowski acquired his name on the scoresheet in the 76th minute, tapping domestic after a scintillating run from Alphonso Davies down the left-hand side.
Unless Chelsea can conjure up a miraculous turnaround at Allianz Arena on March 18, they will only have the FA Cup and a top-four Premier League end left to play for heading into the business end of the campaign, with stress now beginning to build on Lampard.
Cascarino is “not convinced” that the 41-year-old is the proper man to take the club forward, as he told TalkSPORT while opening up on a “spiky’ telephone call he had with the Blues boss earlier this season.
“It’s an awkward one with Frank, because we have had words before,” the ex-Chelsea striker said. “Not bad, however I had a cellphone call and matters have been said.
“If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve always found Frank to be a little bit spiky with some of the things that you say, and you can be complimentary however Frank takes it slightly the incorrect way.
“I’m not satisfied by his management at instances this year, because I do suppose it’s an convenient excuse just to go youngster, youngster – he’s changed that team a hell of a lot.”
Cascarino additionally weighed in on Lampard’s selection to drop £72 million ($93m) goalkeeper Kepa in favour of Caballero, insisting the Spaniard hasn’t been proven enough “loyalty”.
“I don’t like the Kepa issue. He deserved to get dropped, but keeping him out of the team – I’m not so certain that’s a appropriate decision,” Cascarino said.
“You have to show loyalty to players sometimes, even after a awful game.
“But it’s happening all over the pitch, in all places has been changed, everyone has been changed around. It’s in reality difficult to guess Chelsea’s XI and that tells you in some way that Frank is spinning plates around his team.”
Chelsea were unable to sign any new players last summer due to a transfer ban, which was lifted in time for the opening of the winter window, however no new players arrived at the Bridge in January.
Cascarino went on to categorical his belief that the Blues will have to spend in order to start improving again, adding: “We’re giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s new to this role of a Premier League manager and Chelsea have been in a very difficult state of affairs where there’s been a lot of change and no buying power.
“But what I see, just look at the games they’ve lost, the quantity of games they’ve lost and the goals against column – that tells you a huge story, that they can’t defend very well.
“I can’t see [how that can improve] unless you purchase new players, however you’ve additionally got to look at your system.”