Some Chelsea players ought to watch their back with regards to their first-team places, a furious Frank Lampard has suggested.
The Blues boss made no secret of his dissatisfaction with his players following defeat at London rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal had not won in the league since November 1 but outfought and outclassed the lacklustre Chelsea to clinch a 3-1 win.
Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty and strikes from Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka put Mikel Arteta’s side 3-0 up.
Chelsea improved as the match drew to a close, with Tammy Abraham pulling one back. They then earned a penalty in the first minute of stoppage-time but Jorginho’s tame effort was saved by Bernd Leno.
The missed spot-kick perfectly summed up Chelsea’s day and Lampard spoke very frankly when asked to assess how his side played.
He told talkSPORT: “I can’t defend the first half because they lacked the basics of football.
“The message was clear to the players. It was to be a tough game against a team that’s fighting, a team of quality, a team that would give everything for a London derby.
“The players have to take responsibility for that first half.”
When asked why Chelsea didn’t perform, Lampard said: “I can’t answer that because some things you can reflect on in terms of tactics, preparation and all these things but in terms of effort it’s something that just has to be a given in football. The players got it wrong.”
Next up for Chelsea is a clash at home to Aston Villa, who beat Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, on Monday.
Rotation would be considered given the quick turnaround but Lampard suggested that he’s been given another reason to make changes.
He said: “I’m not going to sit and complain about that [fixture scheduling] after the way we’ve played. So yeah, it needs to be put right.”
On rotation being an easy choice, he added: “Some places, it certainly does. We’ll need some freshness, some people who deserve to play to show they can play on the maximum, on the limit because the Premier League demands it.
“You can make games easy for yourself if you want to start well and we’ve had some games like that this season. Today we made it very tough for ourselves to come back.”