Date: 11th November 2013 at 10:30pm
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As we approach another international break Chelsea fans will be looking at their side’s performances so far this season and wonder what can be done to improve their mixed form.

One player that has received a lot of stick recently is veteran midfielder Frank Lampard as fans criticise Jose Mourinho’s insistence on playing the 35-year-old in a role that doesn’t suit him every week.

It’s an odd debate to have as Lampard has won it all with the Blues and is the all-time top goal scorer at Stamford Bridge but there does come a point when he will become detrimental to the team and I’d argue that Mourinho’s use of him is detrimental to Lampard.

When he’s played in a deeper role previously his accuracy hasn’t been good enough but he has a respectable pass completion of 84% and the average length of them are 20 metres long but he’s not adept at covering fullbacks when they join the attacks and doesn’t put in or win anywhere near the amount of tackles he should.

Perhaps it’s just a case of less is more at this stage of his career as Roberto Di Matteo would often rest the midfielder in order to keep him sharp and Rafael Benitez continued this trend, and despite a turbulent 2012/13 season Lampard achieved his goal record at Chelsea and done so in an important victory over Aston Villa as his side went on to secure third place and win the Europa League.

However, I would say that it is perhaps about a little bit more than merely resting and rotating him in and out of the first XI, I’d argue that he should be coming on late in games and in a more attacking role that he’s been asked to fulfil so far. Mourinho did this to good effect in the 3-0 win over Schalke when Lamps came on in Oscar’s position and made a lovely cushioned pass to assist Demba Ba for the third and final goal.

He isn’t ever going to be a first choice attacking midfielder with Oscar, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Willian and Andre Schurrle in the team but when Lampard plays I want to see him attacking and as goals have been a regular feature of his game throughout his career he may well be the man you’d look towards in the case of an emergency. As it is, he is playing in a role that doesn’t suit him and is getting panned because he’s struggling there, but it’s not down to him and Mourinho must recognise that he isn’t getting the most of a player that only has one goal so far this season.

Is it time to adapt Lampard’s role and position at Chelsea during this stage of his career?


7 responses to “Has Mourinho been misusing this midfielder?”

  1. Jose says:

    I am a little ticked off by the media circus around Mourinho. In the last few years Chelsea had some of the best coaches in the business, yet there play level remained average. Yes they won that calamitous CL with a beginner coach, the europa league with an interim coach.
    Did Mourinho do any better since he came back. No. he seems lost, has very poor XI starters choice,erratic when they fall behind. You never get the impression that they are laying siege to the opponents.
    Chelsea played much better football, prior to Mourinho, even when they didn’t win the premier league.
    Good average players like Southampton, Westbrom c.. compensate for talent with a lot of hard work.
    Chelsea doesn’t have players with the spirit.

    • Marco says:

      @ Jose, You have just pointed your finger at the root of Chelsea problems. Mourino is lost, and I do not believe he is as capable as wenger to breed young technically gifted players he has this time round. The EPL is very different now.
      It use to be between MU, Arsenal, Liv, and Chelsea.
      Mind you Benitez used to do better job with this lot.

  2. Mo says:

    Finally!! I think Mourinho see this also which could be why he brought lamps on as a substitute against shalke in an offensive position in which he assisted Ba’s goal. I think he should play either the number 10 role instead of Oscar or in a 4-3-3 next to Ramires and Oscar or Mikel/Essien

  3. fr francis says:

    Mata lost his place because of “lack” of defensive play & you never complaIned, but you feel Lamps should be used as no.10 simply because he “decided” NOT to adapt to his new role! I blame Mou though for playing him often over Mikel even after “lazy” performances. But I’m sure that won’t be long with Evert. Newc. & WestB. Overrunning us in M/field!

  4. Richard says:

    I think Jose is using Lampard at the expense of younger and beter deep holding midfield player like Mikel&Essien, all because of their past relationship, which is affecting our result, combination of Ramires & Mikel is the best blocking pairs in Chelsea for now, if he continue with Lampard like this against teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, etc, Chelsea might suffer defect & this will affect the career of Lampard himself, cause his time of play should reduce, so that he could enjoy more football career like Ryan Giggs of Machester United

  5. obi says:

    Lamps remains a chelsea great but is 35 yrs old,he should’nt be playing as many games.Mou could learn from how Benitez rotated the team,moreso Mikel is the best defensive midfielder in Chelsea,so y not use him more often,so Rami can go forward better?Chelsea are not good enough in the EPL,we just have to be better,Mou also has to compromise on his defence ethics for now,Mata can’t defend as well as Oscar,but can still fire us to victory if he gives him confidence.Even our defence is still leaky,why can’t we win a game @ 1- 0?I hope we do better against West Ham

  6. john says:

    Lampard is 35 years old and is clearly not going to be as good as he once was and he is on his way out. If he is playing then he is best for that holding role because he hasn’t got the legs anymore for attack. He needs to look at the likes of Pirlo and Scholes and get playing like them. For those moaning saying he can’t play defensive midfield just look at last season where he played and done well but clearly at the moment he struggling a bit and that must be down to age. Chelsea have not been playing poorly because of Mourinho, we have been playing poor because we are still lacking decent players in certain areas and have an aging team with no back up. Our strikers are weak and not good enough, our defence has got problems. We need a proper defensive midfield because Mikel and Essen are not good enough.