Mauricio Pochettino is a victim: I warned Todd Boehly about Chelsea squad

I warned Todd Boehly about Chelsea squad – I now worry for Mauricio Pochettino

Frank Lampard says the Chelsea squad he inherited as interim boss last season failed to maintain high standards, and he has questioned Todd Boehly’s transfer policy. The club icon was appointed as caretaker manager for the final 11 games of last term following the sacking of Graham Potter and the exit of interim Bruno Saltor.

He achieved just one win and lost eight as the Blues finished 12th in the table. Lampard says that it was right for several players to be moved on in the summer, and he believes Mauricio Pochettino walked into a refreshed squad.

The former Everton manager defended the Argentine, though, and is hesitant to place blame on him or his players for their poor season. The Blues currently sit 11th, some 16 points off the top four, having been defeated in the Carabao Cup final by an injury-hit Liverpool side.

Lampard believes, in hindsight, Boehly could perhaps have conducted operations differently. Speaking to the Unfiltered podcast, he said: “I said it quite a lot when I was there, and people threw it back at me. I was like, ‘Standards have not been good enough here’. You have to have a level of standards to be a top club.

“Forget about the tactics of the layer on top; things below have to be right to perform, and I didn’t see it there. Now, I think in the summer, to be fair, players moved on, some rightfully so for them and for the club, and new players came in.

“So, I think that probably would have freshened up the feel in pre-season for the new manager… But in my opinion, it was going to be a challenge again to keep moving forward quickly like people would expect, and that’s proven to be the case.”

Lampard expressed concerns about the responsibility being placed on the shoulders of a young squad with just seven members over the age of 25.

Thiago Silva, 39, sees his contract expire this summer, while academy product Conor Gallagher is being linked with a move away, raising concerns over the central spine of the team.

Lampard added: “I think you should be careful to point fingers at the manager himself or point fingers at maybe a young player that’s trying to find form in the team that hasn’t really got an experienced spine there that they can rely on and look up to certain players.

“The strategy has been to bring in young players; you’ve got young kids coming over at 21 from another country, trying to fit into a team.

“I’m not saying ‘in my day’ but in my day when you bring in those younger players, they sit themselves on the bench or they train alongside and watch how competitive training is.

“They watch a [Didier] Drogba and how they trained, or watch a John Terry and how he leads the club, and they learn, and then they get to the team, or they don’t come through at Chelsea.

“To ask a lot of players to do that at the same time and develop is not an easy thing. So I think be very careful; I think the strategy of course will be questioned, and I think there have been things done that you kind of look at now and ask if it could have been different, yes.”

Lampard expressed concerns about the responsibility being placed on the shoulders of a young squad with just seven members over the age of 25.

Thiago Silva, 39, sees his contract expire this summer, while academy product Conor Gallagher is being linked with a move away, raising concerns over the central spine of the team.

Lampard added: “I think you should be careful to point fingers at the manager himself or point fingers at maybe a young player that’s trying to find form in the team that hasn’t really got an experienced spine there that they can rely on and look up to certain players.

“The strategy has been to bring in young players; you’ve got young kids coming over at 21 from another country, trying to fit into a team.

“I’m not saying ‘in my day’ but in my day when you bring in those younger players, they sit themselves on the bench or they train alongside and watch how competitive training is.

“They watch a [Didier] Drogba and how they trained, or watch a John Terry and how he leads the club, and they learn, and then they get to the team, or they don’t come through at Chelsea.

“To ask a lot of players to do that at the same time and develop is not an easy thing. So I think be very careful; I think the strategy of course will be questioned, and I think there have been things done that you kind of look at now and ask if it could have been different, yes.”

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