Tony Cascarino has labelled Frank Lampard a ‘bit of a spikey character’ and has questioned his credentials to manage Chelsea.
The Blues manager was given something of a harsh lesson in the realities of top-level Champions League football on Tuesday night as a rampant Bayern Munich side turned over Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
The result leaves Chelsea facing a rapid exit from the competition, Lampard to set his side a challenge ahead of the second leg and former Blues striker Cascarino to question whether – after eight home defeats this season – the former Derby boss is actually cut out to manage the club.
“It’s an awkward one with Frank, because we have had words before,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“Not bad, but I had a phone call and things were said.
“If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve always found Frank to be a little bit spikey with some of the things that you say, and you can be complementary but Frank takes it slightly the wrong way.
“I’m not convinced by his management at times this year, because I do think it’s an easy excuse just to go youngster, youngster – he’s changed that team a hell of a lot.
“I don’t like the Kepa issue. He deserved to get dropped, but keeping him out of the team – I’m not so sure that’s a good decision.
“You have to show loyalty to players sometimes, even after a bad game.
“But it’s happening all over the pitch, everywhere has been changed, everybody has been changed around. It’s really hard to guess Chelsea’s XI and that tells you in some way that Frank is spinning plates around his team.”
Cascarino continued: “We’re giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s new to this role of a Premier League manager and Chelsea have been in a very difficult situation where there’s been a lot of change and no buying power.
“But what I see, just look at the games they’ve lost, the amount of games they’ve lost and the goals-against column – that tells you a big story, that they can’t defend very well.
“I can’t see [how that can improve] unless you buy new players, but you’ve also got to look at your system.”