1 November 2019

Lampard: Striker Competition Healthy  (Sky Sports)

Olivier Giroud and Tammy AbrahamFrank Lampard has praised the professionalism of strikers Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, given the pair's fewer minutes on the pitch compared to the in-form Tammy Abraham so far this term.

Abraham, 22, has eight goals in 10 Premier League games and is currently the joint-second top scorer in the Premier League alongside Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

Batshuayi and Giroud meanwhile have played a combined total of 164 minutes of games in the league for Lampard's side this season.

The Chelsea manager said: "It's not easy when Tammy is scoring regular goals and gets a firm footing in the team, and Michi is showing all the right ways of handling it.

"It's the same for Oli (Giroud), I have to pick the squad for the best of Chelsea, I have three strikers to choose from and I have to make the choices.

"That positive spirit when you aren't playing is not just important for him but it's important for the group.

"I can't complain about any of their attitudes and I have to choose the team as I see it.

"I know the qualities of all of them and over the course of the season many things can change and that's where you need professionalism within the group."

'I love players playing for their country'

France boss Didier Deschamps and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez have both recently expressed their desire for their respective country's players, Giroud and Batshuayi, to be given more playing time at club level.

Mauricio Pochettino recently hit out at Argentina over the selection of Giovani Lo Celso for their upcoming clashes against Brazil and Uruguay later in November.

But speaking ahead of their clash with Watford, live on Sky Sports, Lampard insists he likes the fact that his players are in contention for international squad selection - including midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has been rested for Chelsea's last two top-flight games against Newcastle and Burnley.

"I love players playing for their country, it means they are playing well for us and get selected," Lampard added.

"If N'Golo is fit and happy I will happily wave him away and hopefully he will come back in good health."

'Football could learn from respect shown in rugby'

Lampard also gave his backing to Eddie Jones' England side for their Rugby World Cup final against South Africa in Japan on Saturday, and feels that football players and managers could learn from the respect that is shown towards match officials in rugby.

"I thought it was some of the most inspirational sport I have seen in a long long time [England's semi-final win against New Zealand], in terms of desire, mentality and talent, it's what we strive for as managers to have that kind of commitment," Lampard said.

"I was impressed at how every player reacted towards the referee.

"It's something I think maybe we could all take on board, we need to maybe take a deep breath sometimes more than we do.

"The respect in rugby seems to go both ways and we could probably all learn from it."

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