Lille vs Chelsea - Lampard: Barkley 'naive' to be pictured out ahead of Champions League clash

Posted Wednesday, October 02, 2019 by PA

Lille vs Chelsea - Lampard: Barkley 'naive' to be pictured out ahead of Champions League clash

Frank Lampard admitted Ross Barkley had been “naive” after the Chelsea midfielder was pictured on a night out in Liverpool.

But the Blues boss insisted Barkley had not “committed a crime” by being out on the town on Sunday night.

Photos of Barkley appearing to argue with a taxi driver, having apparently spilt chips in the back of a cab, were published in newspapers ahead of the Blues’ Champions League trip to Lille.

Lampard said he had spoken to Barkley, who has travelled with the squad to France, about the incident and revealed the 25-year-old England international admitted he had made a mistake.

Lampard said: “In terms of permission, I don’t expect people to ask permission to be in Liverpool on their day off. That’s not a problem. Especially with his family there. As an issue, he hasn’t broken the club code about being out.

“In the modern world, Liverpool is the least of my worries. It is only a few hours to get up there and back. Especially when your family is up there. It is important for people to see them.

“To address the issue, first and foremost, he hasn’t broken a club code. The lads were given a day off on Sunday.

“He hasn’t committed a crime – other than eating chips in the back of a cab which is probably a bit out of order for the cabbie!

“But on a serious note, what he has done from my point of view is be naive to be out on that evening in the build-up to a Champions League game.

“He has admitted that as well. I am very aware of that. On a professional level, those are little things that shouldn’t happen.

“From my point of view, as well, I like Ross. I have had absolutely no problem with him since he has been here.

“He works hard and wants to do well for this club. This morning he admitted to making a mistake. I will take that one at face value and we move on.”

The chips are down in France for Chelsea, who need to take something from the crucial Group H clash following their defeat by Valencia.

Lampard will check on the fitness of midfielder N’Golo Kante, who has been out with an ankle injury.

“He has trained this morning. He got through training okay. He is one we still have to assess in the morning. So we are positive that he will be fit to play,” added Lampard.

“Everyone is working towards getting him regularly fit so he can play some continuous games. I am hoping that is coming really soon because obviously we need him.”

Chelsea will come up against a familiar face when they attempt to get their Champions League campaign back on track at Lille.

Striker Loic Remy may have something to prove to his former club, having spent three years at Stamford Bridge without managing to hold down a regular place.

Now 32, Remy joined Lille from Las Palmas in 2018 and scored seven goals last season before getting off the mark for this term against Strasbourg last week.

Lille boss Christophe Galtier confirmed the former France international and another ex-Premier League player, former Swansea loanee Renato Sanches, are set to be involved on Wednesday night.

“Remy was very good against Strasbourg, his experience is important in that kind of match.” he said.

“Sanches joined us recently and he was very good against Strasbourg, but he still needs to find his feet. Both players could be useful (on Wednesday).”

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