Lampard backs Abraham to shrug off social media abuse

Chelsea boss looking for a first victory of the season as they host Leicester

Frank Lampard: “What people hopefully saw in the performances was a team giving everything and playing good football.” Photograph:  Tess Derry/PA

Frank Lampard: “What people hopefully saw in the performances was a team giving everything and playing good football.” Photograph: Tess Derry/PA

 

Frank Lampard will not hesitate to play Tammy Abraham against Leicester on Sunday after the Chelsea striker was the victim of online racial abuse.

Abraham received several abusive posts on Twitter after missing the decisive penalty in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea in the Super Cup on Wednesday but Lampard, who said he was disgusted after seeing the abuse aimed at the 21-year-old, does not plan to remove him from the spotlight by leaving him out tomorrow.

“I think the best thing is for him to move on,” the Chelsea manager said.

“But it depends on Tammy for starters and he’s not said that to me and, if he did, the reaction would be not that you’re giving into it. But Tammy is a strong boy. I want to support him. I try to be close to my players.

“When something like this happens it’s the first thing I do. If there was anything more he needed, then the club would 100 per cent be there for him. He’s getting the support I hope he feels he needs.”

Lampard expressed concern at how players are targeted in the internet age and called on social media companies to do more to tackle abuse on their platforms.

“In my day five out of 10 in the Sun was a bad reflection of a performance,” Lampard said. “Now it’s instant. And it’s not a joke. It’s not funny when it becomes hate.

“I’m not just talking about Tammy’s situation. This is modern life. They are on social media. I am concerned about it. To say they need to be thick-skinned is too easy to say. When it becomes you and it becomes hurtful, it’s a problem we have to deal with. It’s difficult to say don’t look at it.

“They’re all on it as soon as they go on the coach. The social media companies, are they ever going to stop someone casually putting up what someone did against Tammy? That’s their responsibility.”

Paces backwards

“I don’t understand why people are on their phones during games anyway,” Lampard said. “Tweeting through the game is a nonsense. Just watch the game. We are trying to change attitudes and there are a lot of paces forward but suddenly there are paces backwards.”

Lampard said he has not decided whether to sell Tiémoué Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta before the European transfer window shuts and insisted Michy Batshuayi remains part of his plans despite links with Roma.

He hinted Antonio Rüdiger could feature in central defence against Leicester. Rudiger’s return from a long-term knee injury would be a welcome boost for Lampard before his first home game as the Chelsea manager. They opened their Premier League campaign with a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United and conceded twice against Liverpool.

But Lampard believes he is on the right track.

“What people hopefully saw in the performances was a team giving everything and playing good football,” he said, “but now we must win.”

– Guradian

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