Frank Lampard has fired back at United legend Gary Neville for his criticism of Marcos Alonso during Chelsea’s 3-2 loss against West Ham.
Neville was furious with the Spanish full-back for a relaxed approach to tracking back and singled out Alonso for allowing Yarmolenko to score the winner for West Ham.
Lampard, who was very critical of his players after the disappointing loss, defended Alonso and described Neville’s critique of the defender unfair.
‘[Full-backs] have a responsibility to do both (attack and defend) and that’s important,’ Lampard said ahead of Chelsea’s game against Watford.
‘It’s not easy, it wouldn’t be quite fair to isolate [any player], you say slate, in a comment from afar.
‘We do try to be progressive but of course we don’t do that at the idea of conceding goals, and recovery runs are a huge part of football.
‘The players must do them whether it’s the first minute or 90th minute. I don’t think it’s quite fair to look at Marcos in that isolated incident.
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‘Yes, we can recover better as a time. But there has to be something fundamental to the team. ‘You have to run backwards as much as you run fast forward.
‘And you have to have the desire to make difficult runs, sometimes they’re sideways, whatever it is, to help the team.
‘I can’t complain about the team this year. As you say, when you isolate one goal because it’s so crucial because it wins the points, fair enough, but I know my the players have the desire to press very well off the ball, and generally recover and get there.
‘It was a game where we slipped up, not just there but other mistakes and we lost the game for it.’