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Sport Lampard: Including Cech in Chelsea squad is 'not for the romance'

04:05  21 october  2020
04:05  21 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Frank Lampard insists the decision to include Petr Cech in Chelsea's Premier League squad more than a year after his retirement is based upon common sense and not romance.

Cech's inclusion was confirmed as Lampard savoured the relief of a clean sheet against Sevilla in the Champions League.

It was his first goalless draw since taking charge at Stamford Bridge and the perfect response to the criticism aimed at his defensive unit and his goalkeepers this season.

'It's definitely not for the romance,' said Lampard, when asked about Cech.

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'Pete's been training with the keepers for a little while. He's very fit and still relatively young. Pete finished playing when he could have probably carried on and taken on his role at Chelsea, which he does very well.

'We had a space in the squad and this year is like no other because of Covid and what it might do to selection and isolation. So it was an easy one. Pete will still do his day job but he's there if we need him.

'Whether we see him or not I'm not so sure. It depends how the season goes with Covid and isolations. I certainly felt it was a no brainer to have Pete in the squad for that reason and he can only help the goalkeepers we have. He's one of the best in the world in the modern era.

a group of people standing next to a football ball: The 38-year-old has been keeping fit and is working with the club's keepers including summer arrival Edouard Mendy (left) who he is seen advising during a training session © Provided by Daily Mail The 38-year-old has been keeping fit and is working with the club's keepers including summer arrival Edouard Mendy (left) who he is seen advising during a training session Petr Cech standing in front of a crowd: Cech had initially left Chelsea as a goalkeeper at the end of the title winning 2014-15 season © Provided by Daily Mail Cech had initially left Chelsea as a goalkeeper at the end of the title winning 2014-15 season

'If we're in crisis we couldn't ask for anything much better than having Petr Cech around. I don't expect it but nobody expected what we've seen in the last six or seven months around the world.'

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a group of people watching a football game:                      “You go on and score the decisive goal,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld instructed Dortmund midfielder Lars Ricken just before replacing Stephane Chapuisat in the 1997 final. It took the one-club man 16 seconds to follow his manager’s orders, his delicious chip – with his first touch – securing a famous 3-1 win.                                                                              It had been a game of substitutes: Alessandro Del Piero replaced Sergio Porrini at the break to re-energise the Old Lady after Karl-Heinz Riedle’s first-half double. Riedle had his own premonition, waking at 3.30am on the day of the game in a cold sweat. “I just dreamt that I’ll score two goals,” he panted.

Cech is a Chelsea legend, and hero of their Champions League triumph in 2012. He retired in May 2019 and returned to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal to take on a role as a technical performance adviser.

At 38, he is eight months younger than Willy Caballero who was on the bench against Sevilla, and the idea of his inclusion as emergency cover in the Premier League squad was first mooted before Edouard Mendy arrived for £22million from Rennes in September.

The theory reinforced when Ukraine were forced to put a 45-year-old coach on the bench in a friendly against France, because three keepers had been suddenly ruled out by coronavirus.

a group of people playing a game of football: Chelsea produced a robust defensive performance on Tuesday night in the Champions League, with Mendy making a save during a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge against Sevilla © Provided by Daily Mail Chelsea produced a robust defensive performance on Tuesday night in the Champions League, with Mendy making a save during a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge against Sevilla Thiago Silva in a blue uniform holding a ball: Veteran defender Thiago Silva featured for the Blues who have come underfire defensively © Provided by Daily Mail Veteran defender Thiago Silva featured for the Blues who have come underfire defensively

Mendy was back in goal against Sevilla after injury ruled him out of Saturday's 3-3 draw against Southampton, and he looked confident and assured. The return of Thiago Silva to the centre of defence also helped Chelsea look more solid at the back.

'Thiago showed his experience and qualities,' said Lampard. 'Mendy probably has one save to make and he makes it, and he was good with his feet.

'It was a very good organised defensive performance against a very good team and I'm pleased with that. It feels good, it is something you strive for always.

'When you play at the Champions League level, you have a lot of work on the defensive side. We can't complain about no goals. We've scored a lot of goals in the Premier League already. We will score goals. The clean sheet is the big bonus of the night.'

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Frank Lampard hails Hakim Ziyech for showing 'immense quality' .
Morocco winger Ziyech capped a fine full debut with a goal in Russia on Wednesday night as the Blues coasted to their first Champions League Group E victory. The £40million summer signing from Ajax impressed on his first start since March, after the coronavirus shutdown and a nagging knee injury.

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