Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is refusing to have a repeat of the penalty-taker confusion that erupted last season when Ross Barkley missed a crucial Champions League spot-kick that most had expected Jorginho or Willian to take, and will ensure his players know who is designated penalty taker this weekend.
It has become an issue once more after Jorginho missed his second successive penalty during the win over Krasnodar in midweek. Timo Werner later converted his own attempt from 12 yards after the Italian was withdrawn.
It inevitably led to questions over who would take penalties moving forward, but Lampard only vaguely touched on the issue, underlining that he has faith in both players.
However, the Chelsea boss has now stated it will be made clear to the players before facing Burnley on Saturday so the embarrassing saga that blew up last season doesn’t happen again.
“I’ve got no problem with either in terms of the penalty taking, not just Timo and Jorginho, we have other possibilities at the club,” Lampard is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
“So it will be something I will broach before Burnley because it’s important as we’ve seen with history that we need it to be very clear going into the game who are the designated penalty-takers. I’ll have a nice little open chat with both of them, and others, if needs be.”
Jorginho was on the pitch when Barkley stepped forward against Valencia last September with the game on the line. Willian also asked to take it when Barkley had the ball in his hands, but he resisted and proceeded to miss the target when the ball clipped the top of the bar.
There has already been tension over penalty-taking duties this season, with both Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner having a verbal tussle over the ball with Jorginho in the win over Crystal Palace – a game in which the Italy international scored twice from the spot.
After the Barkley miss last year, Lampard put forward what appeared to be some cobbled together justification for the England man taking that particular penalty, suggesting that Jorginho and Willian had been the designated penalty takers for the game, only for that be trumped by Barkley coming off the bench.
This time, the Chelsea boss wants absolutely no uncertainty. He is happy for either Jorginho or Werner to be taking penalties, but discussions on the pitch are out of the question.