Tony Cascarino has criticised the manager in the wake of a damaging Champions League defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard is “spinning plates around his team”, according to Tony Cascarino, who thinks a club legend has been given the benefit of the doubt at Stamford Bridge due to having no “buying power” last summer.
The Blues suffered a 3-0 home defeat against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday night, which leaves them on the brink of elimination.
The Bundesliga champions dominated proceedings and carved out a number of clear chances before eventually taking the lead when Serge Gnabry turned Robert Lewandowski’s low cross into the net six minutes into the second half.
Gnabry added a second moments later, playing a neat one-two with Lewandowski before firing an excellent left-footed shot past Willy Caballero.
Lewandowski got his name on the scoresheet in the 76th minute, tapping home after a scintillating run from Alphonso Davies down the left-hand side.
Unless Chelsea can conjure up a miraculous turnaround at Allianz Arena on March 18, they will only have the FA Cup and a top-four Premier League finish left to play for heading into the business end of the campaign, with pressure now beginning to build on Lampard.
Cascarino is “not convinced” that the 41-year-old is the right man to take the club forward, as he told TalkSPORT while opening up on a “spiky’ phone call he had with the Blues boss earlier this season.
“It’s an awkward one with Frank, because we have had words before,” the ex-Chelsea striker said. “Not bad, but I had a phone call and things were said.
“If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve always found Frank to be a little bit spiky with some of the things that you say, and you can be complimentary but Frank takes it slightly the wrong way.
“I’m not convinced by his management at times this year, because I do think it’s an easy excuse just to go youngster, youngster – he’s changed that team a hell of a lot.”
Cascarino also weighed in on Lampard’s decision to drop £72 million ($93m) goalkeeper Kepa in favour of Caballero, insisting the Spaniard hasn’t been shown enough “loyalty”.
“I don’t like the Kepa issue. He deserved to get dropped, but keeping him out of the team – I’m not so sure that’s a good decision,” Cascarino said.
“You have to show loyalty to players sometimes, even after a bad game.
“But it’s happening all over the pitch, everywhere has been changed, everybody has been changed around. It’s really hard to guess Chelsea’s XI and that tells you in some way that Frank is spinning plates around his team.”
Chelsea were unable to sign any new players last summer due to a transfer ban, which was lifted in time for the opening of the winter window, but no new players arrived at the Bridge in January.
Cascarino went on to express his belief that the Blues will have to spend in order to start improving again, adding: “We’re giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s new to this role of a Premier League manager and Chelsea have been in a very difficult situation where there’s been a lot of change and no buying power.
“But what I see, just look at the games they’ve lost, the amount of games they’ve lost and the goals against column – that tells you a big story, that they can’t defend very well.
“I can’t see [how that can improve] unless you buy new players, but you’ve also got to look at your system.”