‘It wouldn’t be fair to isolate Marcos… it’s easy to comment from afar’: Frank Lampard hits back at Gary Neville’s scathing attack on Alonso after he claimed defender ‘cost Chelsea the game’ against West Ham
- Frank Lampard has hit back at Gary Neville over his criticism of Marcos Alonso
- Alonso failed to track back in the build-up to West Ham’s winner in midweek
- Gary Neville claimed that the Spaniard had ‘cost Chelsea the game’
- Lampard defended Alonso, saying it is ‘easy to comment from afar’ on Friday
Frank Lampard has defended Marcos Alonso after the Spaniard failed to track back in the build-up to West Ham’s late winner on Wednesday night.
Gary Neville slammed the full-back for his woeful defending and claimed that he had ‘cost Chelsea the game’ after allowing Andriy Yarmolenko to score in stoppage time.
However, Lampard hit back at Neville, saying that it is ‘easy to comment from afar’ when asked about the Hammers’ winning goal in his Friday press conference.
Frank Lampard (pictured) has hit back at Gary Neville over his criticism of Marcos Alonso
Alonso (left) failed to track back and prevent Andriy Yarmolenko from scoring a winning goal
‘They [full-backs] have a responsibility to do both [attack and defend] and that’s important,’ Lampard said. ‘It’s not easy with isolated “slatings” – it’s much easier to comment from afar.
‘We do try and play football. We do try and be progressive but we don’t do that at the idea of wanting to concede goals. And recovery runs are a huge part of football and the players must do them whether they are the first minutes or the 90th minute.
‘So I don’t think it’s quite fair to look at Marcos in that isolated incident. Yes, he can recover, we can recover better as a team but that has to be something fundamental to the team. The players have to have the desire to run backwards as much as they run fast forwards.
‘And sometimes you have to have the desire to make the difficult runs, whatever they may be to help the team. I can’t complain about that with the team this year but if you isolate one goal that is so crucial because it wins the points, fair enough. But I know with my players that generally we have a desire to press very well off the ball and when goes beyond us we will recover and get there.
‘It’s a game where we slipped up, not just that mistake but other mistakes and lost the game for it.’
Neville, pictured on Tuesday night, launched a scathing attack on Alonso’s defensive efforts
Alonso was nowhere to been seen as Yarmolenko finished off a sublime counter attack late on
Replays of Alonso’s defensive efforts led to Neville’s dressing down as he commentated on the game.
Neville said: ‘You see Yarmolenko is back there with Alonso. Look at him, look at him, look at him. What are you doing Marcos Alonso? What are you doing? There’s his running back speed.
‘It has cost Chelsea the game, along with a poor piece of defending from Rudiger.
‘Marcos Alonso is level with him (Yarmolenko) at the point where that counter-attack starts and he doesn’t bother.
‘I mentioned it earlier and that’s why he is under pressure at this football club. Frank Lampard will see that.
‘Run back as fast as you can when your team lose the ball. You learn that aged six.’
Former West Ham defender James Collins added: ‘Alonso never shows a desire to get back. As a manager, you’d be fuming with the way he ambled back.’
It comes with Alonso’s position at the club under increasing scrutiny with the Blues desperate to sign a left back this summer.
Chelsea have been linked with Leicester’s Ben Chiwell as they try and buy a new left back
After signing Timo Werner from RB Leipzig and Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, Lampard is expected to strengthen his defence next.
Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell is believed to be their No 1 target but Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Chelsea he will not let the England star leave on the cheap.
It remains to be seen how much is left in Lampard’s transfer budge, given the huge outlay on attacking players already.
But if Chilwell is not a viable option, Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico and Alex Telles of Porto have reportedly been lined up as other targets.
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