football

Chelsea need to switch formations and sign a centre-forward, says Paul Merson


Lampard’s side have slid down the table (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard should abandon his preferred 4-3-3 formation and also consider signing a centre-forward amid Timo Werner’s struggles, believes Paul Merson.

The pressure is mounting on Lampard with his side down in ninth place in the table after losing four of their last six Premier League games.

The Blues spent over £200million on new signings back in the summer, including Werner and Kai Havertz from Germany’s Bundesliga, however, both have struggled to adapt to the pace and rigour of England’s top flight.

Werner has been misfiring for the Blues (Picture: Getty Images)

Havertz, who is naturally a No.10, is struggling to get into the side, while Werner has gone 13 games without a goal.

Werner, 24, has mostly been deployed on the left-wing this season but when he got his chance as Chelsea’s sole striker in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, he was ineffective.

Arsenal legend Merson feels that Lampard’s side are ‘predictable’ and advised the Blues boss to adopt a two-striker formation with Havertz in behind.

‘At the moment it does not look like there is a plan, Chelsea look like a group of top players who have been told to just go out and play,’ Merson told Sky Sports.

‘Lampard went with the pace of Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech against Manchester City but after the game he probably thought he should have gone with Olivier Giroud. That’s down to inexperience and learning.

‘They need to ditch the 4-3-3, get Kai Havertz behind a front two, get two up front, play that way and cause teams problems, because as it stands things are predictable with Chelsea.’

Merson disagrees with Lampard’s claims that Werner is most effective through the middle and suggested the Blues may need a better pair of strikers than Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham going forward.

‘I don’t know where Werner plays,’ he added. ‘I think Chelsea may have signed him to play as a striker, but that is not working, and if his best position is off the left, then Chelsea need a centre forward.

‘No disrespect to Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham, but you are not going to win the Premier League with those as your front two.

‘Giroud and Abraham do great on their day, but they are not going to be in the top six Premier League goalscorers this season, or any season.

‘How many teams have won the Premier League without having a player in the top six scorers?’


MORE : Olivier Giroud rates Frank Lampard as a manager amid Chelsea sack speculation


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