Monday, 27 September 2010

Big blow for Chelsea as well as England as Lampard unavailable for a few weeks !!

Chelsea announced today that Frank Lampard will be sidelined for another two weeks, forcing him to miss important games for club and country.

The midfielder has already been out for a month but his recovery from the hernia problem has been much slower than expected.

As a result Lampard is unavailable for tomorrow's Champions League match against Marseille and the clash with title rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

He will also miss England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro on 12 October as Chelsea say he will not be fit again until the match at Aston Villa the following Saturday.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti said: “He can't play tomorrow. We need to have more time than we expected. In seven days there will be an international break and he will be ready for the first game after that. He didn't play with us so he will not be able to play for the international team.”

Without Lampard, England began their qualifying campaign with two impressive victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland.

The 31-year-old, though, has been missed by Chelsea in the last week as they have lost to Newcastle in the Carling Cup and Manchester City in the Premier League.

Midfielder John Obi Mikel said: “Frank is an important player for this team, we know that. He has showed consistency over years but we have a lot of players who can do a similar job. It's been a massive loss but we are coping well.

“We have played four games without him and lost one. We have scored a lot of goals without him but we can't wait to have him back. In the meantime we will have to keep going. When this team lose a game, we always want to come back. We will focus well and tomorrow will be the start of it.”

The defeat at City was Chelsea's first in the Premier League this season having won their opening five games.
Injuries to Salomon Kalou (thigh) and Yossi Benayoun (thigh) meant Ancelotti was short of experienced substitutes as they trailed City at Eastlands.

The Italian put on 21-year-old Daniel Sturridge and 17-year-old Josh McEachran as well as Yury Zhirkov, while City manager Roberto Mancini introduced £43million worth of talent in Emmanuel Adebayor, Adam Johnson and Jerome Boateng to defend their 1-0 lead.

But Ancelotti believes his squad has strength in depth and said: “I have a lot of options. It is normal to have two or three injuries but this isn't a problem.

“We have a good mix of young players who are improving and players with experience. I don't think at 30 years old the players are old. They have ability to play fantastic games.

“Our defeat to City was not just because we didn't have skills from the players that went on the pitch, it was this kind of game. We weren't able to change the game from the beginning or with the substitutions. The young players are ready for the Champions League.”

Asked about the difference in quality between Johnson and 19-year-old Gael Kakuta, who could start in place of the suspended Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, Ancelotti added: “Kakuta is a fantastic player, maybe better than Johnson. It depends on your point of view.”

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