Alonso was criticised for West Ham’s winner on Wednesday; Watch Chelsea vs Watford live on Sky Sports Premier League or Main Event from 7.45pm on Saturday; kick-off 8pm
Last Updated: 03/07/20 3:46pm
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard says there was no need to sit down with Marcos Alonso following criticism for his role in West Ham’s winner on Wednesday night.
Alonso was left trailing as Andriy Yarmolenko scored in the 89th minute to hand West Ham a vital 3-2 victory, which left Chelsea fourth and just two points ahead of Manchester United.
Chelsea vs Watford
July 4, 2020, 7:45pm
Neither Sky Sports co-commentator Gary Neville, nor former Chelsea defender and studio guest Ashley Cole were impressed with Alonso’s casual tracking of Yarmolenko.
Remarking on the goal, Neville said Alonso “doesn’t bother, that’s why he’s under pressure at this club,” with Cole adding: “As players, you’ve got to want to work and not be happy to be beaten. Alonso needs to get back quicker.”
In response, Lampard said there was no need to address the pundits’ views, with the head coach stressing his side are their own biggest critics.
“I haven’t spoken to him about it,” Lampard said in his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s match against Watford on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
“I think it’s a dangerous game to comment on every pundit because you would probably have to have conversations with all of your players every week.
“That’s the nature of the beast and what we do. Yes, if I felt a player needed help or support in those situations, I would do, but I think we as players and myself are the biggest self-critics.
“We analyse games and go over them, talk with players individually or collectively. That’s my main focus, not so much what comes from outside.”
‘Unfair to isolate Alonso incident’
Asked if full-backs tend to forget their defensive duties due to their reliance going forward in the modern game, Lampard added: “They have a responsibility to do both, and that’s important.
“It’s much easier to comment from afar, we do try to play football, we try and be progressive but we don’t do that at the idea of wanting to concede goals.
“Recovery runs are a huge part of football and the players must do them whether it’s the first or 90th minute. I don’t think it’s quite fair to just look at Marcos – in that isolated incident yes he can recover and we can recover better as a team, but that has to be something fundamental to the team.
“You have to run backwards as much as you run fast forwards, and you have to have the desire to make difficult runs to help the team. I can’t complain about the team with that this year.
“When you isolate one goal, that is so crucial because it wins the points, then fair enough, but I know with my players that generally we have a desire to press off the ball and when it goes beyond us, to recover and get there. It was a game where we slipped up, not just with that mistake but other mistakes, and we lost the game for it.”
Lampard will be without Mateo Kovacic for Saturday’s match against Watford, with the midfielder also expected to miss the next game at Crystal Palace on Tuesday due to an Achilles problem.
Defender Fikayo Tomori remains absent, and is around a week away from being available.