Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard has called on the Premier League to give his team “a fair start” by delaying their first match until after the proposed Sept. 12 date for the new season.
The Blues lost the FA Cup to Arsenal on Saturday and lost three players to injury in the process. They also lost Willian, whose future is still unclear at the club to a muscular problem 48 hours before the game. N’Golo Kante was also confined to the bench at Wembley due to a hamstring complaint.
What’s left for Chelsea this season?
After the end of the Premier League season, all that is left for Chelsea is the Champions League which continues this weekend. The Blues had lost the first leg of the last 16 3-0 at Stamford Bridge against Bayern Munich and will be traveling t Munich for the second-leg.
Knowing that they are likely to exit the competition, Lampard expressed his concern about the lack of recovery time ahead of the new season.
Futballnews reported that the Premier League clubs voted to give all teams a 30-day break. This means those involved in European competition will be involved in a staggered start into mid or late August. But Lampard is pleading with administrators to ensure Chelsea are among those to begin the 2020-21 campaign later.
“I am guessing we will be told when we start and that will be dependent on how we will go against Bayern Munich. I am not forgetting the game against Bayern as that is a big game for us. I am caught up in today.”
While stating that the players need to rest ahead of the game, Lampard said it is not ideal if the team carry on against Bayern Munich, possibly further on.
“The players need to be given a break to play at the level and the quality product that the Premier League is.
“Even in a worst-case scenario we don’t go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to start playing again. The players need a break. That is why we have pulled two hamstrings [Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta] and had players pull out of the game before this.
“I would like to think the Premier League would look seriously at that and hopefully give us a fair start next season. We deserve to be as a Premier League club competing in the Champions League.”
Willian’s future still uncertain
There has been speculation that Willian could leave Stamford Bridge upon the expiry of his contract. His absence in the FA Cup further fuelled the speculation. Arsenal is among the clubs interested in signing the Brazilian.
Meanwhile, his agent Kia Joorabchian, who has strong ties with the Gunners said the Brazilian will decide on his future this week. But to Lampard, he still in the dark over what the winger will decide.
It was gathered that Willian was offered a two-year deal, but he has been holding out for a three-year contract for several months. The 31-year-old is also open to staying at Stamford Bridge,
“It is his decision. I have not got that answer. I know the situation from the club’s end. I have a great relationship with Willian. I actually do not know what that decision is.
“And if that happens over the next whatever days as he said then that will be good for me either way. Of course I am very happy with Willian, as he has been brilliant for me this season with his input and work ethic within the squad.
“But it is his choice and I respect his choice. He has been a great servant for Chelsea if he decides to move on. And if he does decide to move on then Chelsea moves on as well and we have to look forward ourselves.”