Premier League resumption: Frank Lampard defends players over reservations
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has defended Premier League players over reservations they may have regarding a possible return to training, besides demanding improved communication. EPL clubs will vote on Monday over whether a first phase of training can resume. This would see players maintaining social distancing guidelines in small groups, as per government restrictions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Here's more.
Several Premier League players have voiced their opinions on the season resumption. Watford captain Troy Deeney and West Ham skipper Mark Noble have been among a group of players to speak out. They have demanded guarantees over player safety ahead of a restart. Raheem Sterling said everyone needs to feel safe. Danny Rose criticized the move and felt football shouldn't be spoken about.
Lampard feels one needs to give players the freedom to speak out. He also called for upgrading the communication. "People like Deeney, you have to give the freedom to speak out, because people will be speaking from the heart," Lampard told Sky Sports. "I think we have to upgrade that communication so players know what they're going through, and then they can make decisions."
Lampard also insisted Chelsea players are keen to return to action, however, they are also considering the health of their families. "My lads, I know - and I'm sure all managers will speak in the same way - they're good lads," Lampard said. "Their intentions and their feelings for their families are good. They want to get here and work."
Lampard said he has a lot of empathy with the players, besides adding, "You can't just say, 'lads, we're going this way', because this is a situation none of us have known. This is not a players' strike, it's not players wanting to train, or a player having an argument with another player, this is something that has affected everyone and their families."
The Premier League alongside other European domestic leagues had been suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Players have returned to individual sessions at club training grounds, however, the earliest top-flight matches appear likely to resume next month. This will only be followed as per protocols from the government. Safety will be a paramount and things will resume once deemed fit.