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Lampard: “Pulisic is still a work in progress”

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Christian Pulisic has had his fair share of injuries while at Premier League side Chelsea and Frank Lampard is aiming to keep his young attacker fit long-term for the Blues.

Pulisic recently returned to action after a hamstring injury in July’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal forced him to miss the early stages of the new domestic season. The 22-year-old was un unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Krasnodar on Tuesday, with the Blues coming into the match already qualified for the Round of 16.

Although Pulisic scored in a 3-1 victory over Leeds United last weekend, Lampard is still being wary of using him frequently due to his time missed so far this season.

“Christian Pulisic had a tiny bit of awareness off the back of the Leeds game with one of his hamstrings but he’s training normally so we should be as we were,” Lampard said Thursday.

“Christian is still a work in progress. I don’t want to call this an injury in midweek because if it had been a different type of game then I might have used him.”

When healthy, Pulisic showed he can deliver for the Blues attack, as he finished with 10 goals and seven assists in his first season in England. The U.S. Men’s National Team star also missed a chunk of matches in the early part of 2020 due to an adductor injury and Lampard has since bolstered his attack with three new players (Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech).

Chelsea’s impressive start to the season continues on Saturday with a trip to ninth-place Everton before having four more league matches in the month of December. With the club fighting for the league title and also aiming to advance in the Champions League, Lampard will need Pulisic available in hopes of making an impact in both competitions.

“We know his abilities, that’s very clear,” Lampard said. “He showed them when he came on against Leeds last week. I just have to find the right way to get the best out of him regularly and consistently.”

 

Comments

  1. I like Lampard’s closing statement: “I just have to find the right way to get the best out of him regularly and consistently.”

    Lampard took responsibility for managing Pulisic’s playing time, rather than throwing him to the wolves by putting the onus on him to “get tougher”.

    Reply
    • he keeps throwing in unnecessary digs. i took “work in progress” to be a hamstring comment. but then he again went back to the well on performance. my two cents as a CFC fan, he was a TD signing, not quite sarri’s, and definitely not lampard’s. they have since brought in havertz and werner. i think marsch has him pegged — he simply doesn’t rate him and when pressed he seems to suggest it’s something related to him being an american player.

      Reply
      • Didn’t read his comments that way at all. Seems pretty clear he is talking about managing his health/getting him back to a full work load is a work in progress. Think the closing statement sums it up pretty well:

        “We know his abilities, that’s very clear,” Lampard said. “He showed them when he came on against Leeds last week. I just have to find the right way to get the best out of him regularly and consistently.”

      • I’ll add…….. as much as I love CP, hate to see it- he has been injured a good amount of his time with Chelsea. It is nothing more than being realistic and pragmatic for a team to have other options available. Lampard has spoke highly of Pulisic’s attitude, his play, given him the #10 was certainly a vote of confidence and… since the middle of last season- he has put him in the lineup whenever available.

      • Yeah, I don’t think you give the cherished #10 shirt at Chelsea to a player that you don’t particularly rate highly, that would make no sense! I think in the beginning maybe Frank didn’t necessarily rate him highly but after what’s CP has done at the club in the last 6 months when he’s been healthy, Pulisic is clearly Chelsea’s most exciting and dangerous offensive player!

      • IV: I think that’s patently false. Lampard can’t afford to be petty or sentimental and he manages the team the best way he can with who he’s got available to him. He’s figuring out how to get the best out of an embarrassing riches of attacking and midfield talent and rotates players just like every other manager according to fitness levels and skill sets. When a player struggles to perform, gets hurt, or makes the case through his performances that he NEEDS to be playing (e.g. Giroud), Lampard has shown the capacity to make adjustments.

        I’m not sure Lampard has found his first-choice lineup, and there are a lot of puzzle pieces that don’t seem to fit together seamlessly just yet (which is why you constantly see Chelsea players drifting into each other’s space in attack), but a fit and firing Pulisic will get the same opportunity to contribute as anyone. I mean, think about it: you don’t see too many people arguing over whether Pulisic or Hudson-Odoi should be starting these days, do you? No. Pulisic has proved that when he’s healthy and available, he plays more often than not.

      • Lampard doesn’t rate him?? In the last 10 months Pulisic has started almost every important Chelsea game that he’s been healthy for.

    • Dennis, he’s admitting that he’s learning/needs to learn how to deal with hamstring reinjury management imo. So I agree and good to hear because so far, not managed well

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