Valencia vs Chelsea FC - Ross Barkley showed a lack of professionalism – Chelsea boss



Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2019 by PA

Valencia vs Chelsea FC - Ross Barkley showed a lack of professionalism – Chelsea boss

Frank Lampard believes injured Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley showed “a lack of professionalism” after he was pictured shirtless in a nightclub during the international break.

The 25-year-old, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, has been left in London while the Blues take on Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

But Chelsea boss Lampard insisted Barkley remained in his plans and challenged the England midfielder to get fit and prove his worth on the pitch.

“There are two separate issues, one is the headlines this week, Ross knows how I felt about the first headline,” said Lampard.

“I backed him then and I still back him now. But he showed a moment of a lack of professionalism as far as I’m concerned.

“It’s not something that I want to be a pure dictator about and come down hard on, because I also understand all my players are humans and have lives.

“I don’t police every moment of their lives. So I don’t think it’s a terrible thing that he’s done.

“But Ross has had an injury, he’s still kind of carrying an injury, there’s a bit of pain on shooting.

“So he just has to work his way back in, in terms of the fitness thing, and train well.

“And I certainly don’t hold anything against my players.

“I like Ross, he’s certainly one of my players. And he needs now to show all his reactions on the pitch.”

Chelsea can secure safe passage to the last 16 with victory in Spain, while Valencia can do the same should the hosts prevail.

The Blues lost their opening Champions League clash to Valencia 1-0 back in September, with Lampard admitting that defeat now leaves Chelsea facing in effect a knockout clash in Spain.

“The loss in the first game put us in this position,” said Lampard.

“I don’t think the Ajax draw did, it was losing a game at home on day one, when we should have got a result for sure.

“So what we’ve done really is bring that knockout football slightly earlier in the competition. That’s no big problem.

“Obviously it will be a problem if we lose but the reality is at this level you’re going to come to that kind of conundrum at some point where it will be like this, so that is a big test for us.”

Valencia captain Dani Parejo believes Lampard is turning Chelsea into one of the world’s best teams.

Parejo is wary of Chelsea’s rapid strides under their former midfield favourite Lampard.

Parejo has warned his players to expect one of their toughest games this term against the west Londoners.

“It is true that our win there was the first game (in the competition), and while we must not take anything away from that win, Chelsea come here in great form and with big confidence,” said Parejo.

“We are now going to play against one of the best teams in the world by name, history and everything.

“They are really coming at a good time, they lost to Manchester City making a great game, but they had won several games previously.

“We must focus on ourselves, we have shown we can compete against anyone. So no extra motivation is needed.”

Former Real Madrid midfielder Parejo already boasts six goals and two assists in La Liga this term, and the 30-year-old expects home advantage to boost Valencia’s chances on Wednesday.

“I have experienced many nights like this here, arriving on the bus to a big reception, with a special and unique atmosphere,” said Parejo.

“On nights like this the Mestalla does not fail, the atmosphere will be impressive.

“When we go hand in hand fans and team, almost always the result is usually in our favour.”

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