Frank Lampard Says he Never Doubted Christian Pulisic

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has hit back at accusations that he had prejudice against the talents and abilities of Christian Pulisic, simply because the 22-year-old is American. He used his news conference today to tell his side of the story.

The allegations were leveled against Lamps by American born Jesse Marsch, manager of RB Salzburg. “I did read the comments,” Lampard told his Thursday press conference. “I was surprised that Jesse had managed to read my mind as well as he thought he did.”

“He’s recounted the conversation wrong, I have to put it correct because it was the game against Salzburg were played and Christian scored two goals in preseason.”

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Records: Chelsea 2-3-1, Burnley FC 0-4-1
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“Fair enough, Jesse came up to me and said what a talented player Christian was which I knew and I agreed with. I spoke about the fact it was so exciting to see how he could develop for us with the talent he has. That was the conversation. Jesse managed to put it across slightly differently.”

“Maybe Jesse knows the feeling of American managers and coaches that travel into Europe. But one thing I did have was I played in America for 18 months and I would never underestimate the desire that American soccer players — football players — have to learn, to improve, take on information and understand the technical side of the game.”

“So when you have that, which Christian had, and you have incredible talent, it was never in doubt for me.”

“My only thing is I coach in the Premier League and have played here for nearly 20 years so I understand the rigours of it.”

Lampard brought up a great point there, by mentioning the time he spent, in the twilight of his career, playing for NYCFC in Major League Soccer. He also discussed the potential for stereotyping against Americans in European football. (Maybe the most extreme example of this was Bob Bradley, when he was managing Swansea City)

“That brings me onto Christian’s development last year,” Lampard continued.

“It is clearly the toughest league in the world to come and play at a young age from a different league. And it is not just Christian who will have felt that in the early stages.”

“Some of the greatest players in Premier League history, whether they came from America or Europe or anywhere in the world, have felt that. What Christian did was find his feet very quickly and have a great first season in the Premier League where he produced goals and assists.”

“I thought his performance last season was massively impressive. He will get better and better because he is a young player but I never doubted him in the first place.

“And that’s not me jumping on Jesse because there’s probably a bigger issue there with American players. I don’t want to comment on that — he can field that one himself — but as a manager I never doubted Christian and it is important for me to put that straight actually, more for Christian than anything.”

I guess we’ll see just how much Lampard believes in Pulisic by how much he plays him moving forward now. There are a lot of competition for places in the Chelsea attacking third.

 

Prediction: Chelsea 2, Burnley FC 0
The Clarets just can’t score and the way you beat Chelsea is in a shootout. That’s simply not going to happen.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. Salzburg coach is on the money. Lampard is not a good coach as seen by the record and the talent assembled. Pulisic was not one of his guys and he is forced to play him. He tried to bench him last year even after he had healed. Pulisic even covered for has lame ass after he was asked why he didn’t start the Liverpool match last year. Now that Lampard got some new toys he still is trying to make Pulisic a role player. You do not see Mane or Salah sitting on the bench much at Liverpool and Pulisic is still he best player on Chelsea including with Havertz, Werner and Ziyech. They should attribute all 3 goals from yesterday’s match to Pulisic watch the tape. He made it happen.

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