Jamie O’Hara believes the Chelsea players are letting Frank Lampard down but doesn’t think the Blues boss is under pressure.
Lampard was backed in the transfer market over the summer spending more than £200million on new signings to overhaul his squad.
Frank Lampard is in his second season as Chelsea managerGetty Images – Getty
After 15 games, Chelsea are down in eighth place having lost on Boxing Day to a struggling Arsenal side, and they’ve been beaten in three of their last four Premier League games.
They are seven points behind leaders Liverpool but can climb the table if they beat seventh place Aston Villa today – with full commentary of the 5.30pm kick-off live on talkSPORT.
There have been suggestions Lampard could be under pressure should the Blues not challenge for the title this season, but former Tottenham midfielder O’Hara does not think that is the case.
“They’ve had some decent performances and good results and then they’ve had some bad results as well,” he told Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.
“But when I watch the team it still is a new team of new players who are new to the Premier League.
Lampard’s side finished fourth in the Premier League last seasonAFP
“If you are talking about being under pressure to win something or to challenge Liverpool, I don’t think that’s the case at Chelsea. Not this season.
“I think he’s going to want top four and I think he needs to get top four with the players he’s got.”
O’Hara added: “When you are talking about being under pressure to potentially lose his job I don’t think that’s the case.
“They are still trying to build and it takes time.
“He did a great job last season bringing the young players through and doing a good job in terms of getting them Champions League football.
“This year, yes, they’ve spent a lot of money, but the players are letting him down a little bit.”
Chelsea spent a lot of money over the summer on players such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell while Thiago Silva also joined on a free transfer.
Some players have settled better than others with Werner’s form coming under scrutiny in recent games having not scored in seven.
O’Hara thinks players joining from other leagues need time to adapt and Lampard is still trying to work out his best system.
He continued: “It takes a lot of time for players to settle in from abroad who’ve been playing a completely different style of football.
“You then come to the Premier League and it takes time to get used to it. The players that have come in look like they need some bedding in and need to be given a bit of time to find out where their attributes are best.
“Werner has been playing off the left, which I don’t necessarily think is his best position.
Timo Werner has not scored for Chelsea since November 7Getty Images – Getty
“He played in a 3-4-3 with Leipzig and he was fantastic but I think he’s a central striker and should be playing as a number nine.
“But you have to change the way you play when you play him as a nine because he’s not tall, he’s not a hold up player and he’s a bit like Jamie Vardy. So you have to play a different style.
“I still think Lampard is trying to figure out what his best XI is and what his best style is.
“The players have all got to try and work out everyone’s attributes are different and the way you play as a team, link up, pass and move, that takes time to bed in as a team and Chelsea haven’t quite done it yet but they are still getting results.”
talkSPORT brings you full LIVE commentary of Chelsea vs Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday, kick-off 5:30pm