Lampard insisted that Chukwuemeka should not go to the U20 World Cup and instead get token minutes at Chelsea

Lampard insisted that Chukwuemeka should not go to the U20 World Cup and instead get token minutes at Chelsea

Thanks to Frank Lampard, he has managed to shake me out of my complete apathy towards the football that Chelsea (Men’s) Football Club is producing these days, though not because of the football itself. It’s still awful, with potential glimmers of promise (which may or may not be actual glimmers, but we hope they’re glimmers, because otherwise…yikes for the next twelve months, too).

No, it’s because of what has happened with Carney Chukwuemeka, who has barely featured all season after joining from Aston Villa, precisely because he barely featured for them last season. So the 19-year-old was surely delighted to not only be at the U20 World Cup, but in line to be one of the key players for an England team back in the tournament for the first time since winning it all in 2017 (with Fikayo Tomori and Dom Solanke in the lead roles).

But at the last minute, Chuk was pulled from the squad, with caretaker Frank Lampard insisting he stay back to help us cover injuries to other midfielders (N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovačić, Mason Mount). Well, “hopefully” cover. Wait what?

– He is a Chelsea player and we have injuries in that area.

“One of the situations with Carney is he’s come into a big club. It’s a big step for him. This season he’s only managed to get so many minutes because of the size of the squad and settling into a new club.

“Hopefully there are opportunities for him in these three games. He’s our player and while we’ve lost players we need him to stay. There’s a possibility he could come on at the end of the season , if England progress to the next stages.

“There can be the best of both worlds in an ideal way. We had to make that decision. I felt a bit for Carney when he was keen to go, but at the same time it has happened and he had to stay.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC

So we held him back even though he was eager to go, but without really elevating his situation from what it had been all season?

So we held him back from three games at the U20 World Cup, where he was probably guaranteed at least two starts, in three absolutely pointless league games where he might not hope for more than a few token minutes like yesterday, against Manchester City B team?

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

I’m not a fan of international football but this is very questionable decision making and reasoning. At least Lewis Hall, who was similarly (albeit for much more obvious reasons) held back, has started (and played well) in each of our last two games!

“When you’re a young player, you have to bide your time or there are moments when you just have to understand. There’s a lot going on with Carney where he’s been here: I’m not the first manager he hasn’t had a lot of minutes under. It has been such a season for him. I would like him minutes because he is not going to the World Cup, but I have to think about my job.

“I thought he did well when he came on, I know it’s 10-15 minutes. He’ll get more minutes, I hope, in the next two games to come, then he can go to a The World Cup after that and next season he can be a great player going forward if he does all the things he needs to do, I liked his performance.

“I said the other day, it’s a shame he couldn’t go away in a way. He is a Chelsea player and we need him. He understood that well.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London

Your job…

Your job?

Your job?!


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