Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has this evening provided his take on the headline-grabbing footage of Blues star Ross Barkley that circulated during the international break.
Barkley’s nightclub antics
Attacking midfielder Barkley has endured a tough campaign to this point.
The English international has managed starts in just 5 of Chelsea’s 13 Premier League fixtures.
In addition, Barkley has seen out the full 90 minutes in just one of these outings.
He is currently sidelined with an ankle issue, an injury which has kept the 25-year-old out of action since the middle of last month.
As such, Barkley was also omitted from England’s latest international squad, for the Three Lions’ final pair of Euro 2020 qualifiers.
And it was an incident during the former Everton man’s time off last week which saw Barkley come in for criticism from certain sections of the media.
The midfielder was filmed shirtless whilst partying in a nightclub in Dubai, leading to subsequent claims that he was set to face ‘the wrath’ of manager Frank Lampard.
‘A lack of professionalism’
This came after Barkley previously caught the headlines following an incident with a taxi driver back in September.
As such, speaking ahead of his side’s Champions League meeting with Valencia tomorrow night, Chelsea boss Lampard was this evening asked for his take on Barkley’s nightclub antics.
First, the English tactician assured that the Blues midfielder maintains his full backing:
‘There are two separate issues; one is the headlines this week. Ross knows how I felt about the first headline. I backed him then and I still back him now.’
Lampard, though, then went on to call Barkley’s professionalism into question:
‘But he showed a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned.’
‘It’s not something that I want to come down hard on, because I understand all my players are humans and have lives. I don’t police every moment of their lives. So I don’t think it’s a terrible thing that he’s done.’
‘But Ross has had an injury, he’s still kind of carrying an injury, so he just has to work his way back in and train well.’
‘I certainly don’t hold anything against my players. I like Ross and he needs now to show all his reactions on the pitch.’
Quotes via Sky Sports