Lampard optimistic about Christian Pulisic's speedy return

How bad is Christian Pulisic's latest injury?

The 22-year-old American won't be available for Chelsea's UEFA Champions League game against Rennes on Wednesday after suffering another hamstring injury in warm-ups before Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Burnley.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard initially said that Pulisic will be out for "weeks” but after getting the results of a scan, he said on Tuesday he was optimistic about his speedy return. Pulisic was included in Gregg Berhalter's U.S. national team roster for the Nov. 12 match against Wales will be announced on Tuesday.

“He’s played three games," said Lampard. "We’ve tried to manage him in the week and it’s a small feeling in his hamstring so we’ll have to see how he is over the next 24 hours. It’s a minor feeling that he had, but definitely not right to go into 90 minutes of a game with that. Hopefully, it’s short term. We’re talking weeks.”

Pulisic has played in just three of seven Premier League games -- two starts -- after suffering a hamstring injury in FA Cup final in August.

He started in the 0-0 tie with Sevilla in the Champions League and came off the bench last week to score his first goal of the season in a 4-0 win at Krasnodar.

In 2019-20, Pulisic played in 25 of 38 Premier League games and four of eight Champions League game in his first season with Chelsea. He finished with 11 goals in all competitions.

17 comments about "Lampard optimistic about Christian Pulisic's speedy return".
  1. frank schoon, November 3, 2020 at 8:37 a.m.

    Weeks? Give him about 3 months for rest. His style of play puts a lot of demands on his hamstring. Quick starts and accelerations combined with stretches of distance runs can be a blowout for his muscle structure. I hope while he is recuperating is to watch Hakim Ziyech ,the right wing who not only has a  totally different style of play than CP but also he has more dimension to his game. Ziyech, does not need to beat an opponent on speed, for he has an eye for the good pass off the ball, technically versatile in quick give and goes, exudes with confidence on the ball in one on one situation, has that Ajax game saviness, great crossing ability and he has poise to be good enough to ask for the ball from his teammates. CP hopefully watching Ziyech will learn and add some dimension to his game.


  2. Chuck Redding, November 3, 2020 at 9:18 a.m.

    not sure I agree, sounds like a little Dutch bias

  3. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 9:46 a.m.

    Chuck, read this first..Google this...than you can get a better idea about Ziyech qualities

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard reveals what impressed him when he first spoke to Hakim Ziyech | Metro News

    Ziyech is a couple steps above CP in quality as a player, he has so much more to offer....You lose CP they can easily find another CP type for his game is very simplistic.

    CP needs to improve his game for his style is going to wear on him

  4. David Clark, November 3, 2020 at 10:04 a.m.

    Not so sure there are that many players that can easily replace what CP brings Frank, even if there are areas he can improve:

  5. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 10:23 a.m.

    David , I don't put much stock on ESPN staff writer's opinions. I only peruse soccer insights by people who have played at the highest level......

  6. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 10:29 a.m.

    As far as many players can replace CP, I don't see a problem there, especially when you play in England the demands as specific needs go  is much more simpler to find comparatively to CP's position playing Spain where the game is more sophisticated and the needs have more dimension. This is why Frank Lampard is happy with Ziyech for he has more qualities to offer Chelsea

  7. Wooden Ships replied, November 3, 2020 at 10:41 a.m.

    Like in the school yard where you pick teams. I too would choose Ziyech. If in the US club system, rec and above where you play a long ball and let speed pad your winds, then you pick CP. CP will have a stellar career nonetheless if he can stay healthy. 

  8. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 11:58 a.m.

    Ships, Frank Lampard realizes that he needed a player  that can operate in small spaces in the opponents third,who can score, give assists, change point of attack, and cross the ball and is  very accurate in passing medium to long range...He brings more balance to the attack other than a run attack..

  9. R2 Dad, November 3, 2020 at 11:18 a.m.

    I think CP transfered to England too soon in his career. He's not phycially mature yet to take the beating the league demands of a 5'-8" player with his thin build. What's the point now if his body keeps breaking down at age 22? And what of his next transfer? Clubs have learned that injury-prone players are bad investments. Haaland is a good example of young players taking a more conservative approach to development. Could have gone to England or Spain instead of Germany but his father Alf knew the physical and media pressure could wait. 

  10. Sam Bellin, November 3, 2020 at 1:08 p.m.

    CP is going to be just fine.  Frank is right that his game has plenty of room for improvement, and he correctly identified those areas.  But even with his current, "less expanded" game, he was by far Chelsea's best, most dangerous, and most important player, last year, at the age of 21, in his first year in the Prem.  And by the way, leading his team into the Champions League.  Pulisic is not just another fast player who can easily be replaced:  his unique combination of speed, acceleration, explosiveness, timing, directness, and creativity, plus above average technical ability, makes him a constant threat that even the best European players struggle to contain.  He is the example that dozens of young American stars are emulating to one degree or another and it's a fantastic leap forward for American soccer.  Let's not nitpik his "weaknesses" -- let's support his brilliant career and example! 

  11. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 1:26 p.m.

    Sam, I would like to see CP play in the Italian league where the spacing is much tighter and defenders are much better to see how he would fare ,for in the English it is great for offensive players to play for there is so much more space allowed to operate in. 

  12. Sean Guillory, November 3, 2020 at 2:50 p.m.

    Just keep in mind, Ziyech is six yearly older than Pulisic and he has had experience and time to develop his awareness and game.  Pulisic is far and above Ziyech in his development.  Let's also not forget size and speed is important to players in a game like football.  For years, C. Ronaldo's game was built on speed but Robin Van Persie had better awareness than him.  Are we really thinking Van Persie was a better player?  Come on.... Pulisic's issue is that he keeps getting hurt.  Let's also remember it's fantastic that an American who is playing at this level.  This is arguably our 3rd to 4th most important sport and we are still developing these type of players.  Pretty awesome.

  13. frank schoon replied, November 3, 2020 at 4:44 p.m.

    Sean, I totally disagree with your assertion that CP is already better than Ziyech when Ziyech was CP's age. You can't compare these two in that way which is very simplistic.  Realize Ziyech never played that type of soccer whereby running, explosiveness, acceleration places a large role. Ziyech grew up in Holland  where soccer is more of a 'thinking'/technical' game rather than more of a 'running', 'power' game which is more accented in Germany. Dutch soccer can not compete  against countries that rely more on power and emotion and fighting in their game like Germany , England, Italy or other countries like that. This is why the dutch employ a very efficient thinking ,technical/ tactical type of game which they are known for worldwide and copied. 

    You can't compare CP's development to Ziyech's for they are two DIFFERENT types of players influenced playing two different styles of game, thereby it is bogus to say CP is better already for Ziyech when he was young. I agree with you that Ziyech is older and more experienced which has is more helpful to Ziyech in a tactical sense but that aspect has nothing to do with playing style which is what we are discussing.

    Furthermore I would  disagree also with you on your comparison of Van Persie to Christian Ronaldo. CR's game is not build on speed but quickness,short spurts for that is all he needs a couple of quick steps. Van Persie's game is not build on speed or rather quickness of a CR but more like Dennis Bergkamp which is skills, brains, employing a good sense of positional soccer sense that cover individual and team aspects; and realize both employ in their game the third man in their game. Look at all the dutch players that played in England from Van Persie to Bergkamp at Arsenal to Van Nistelrooy, Robben  none were of the speed, power kind of players. 

    The issue here is why is CP continuously getting hurt whether it is Germany or in England and that question can be answered by the style he plays....He needs to change a bit in his style

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, November 4, 2020 at 2 a.m.

    The ideal forward, and even team, is someone that can beat an opponent several ways. Dominating an opponent physically is nice, but better yet is one that may also dominate technically/tactically too. Not every tactical situation can be solved with physical advantages but having physical advantages is certainly a bonus attacking in the final third.

  15. Sean Guillory, November 4, 2020 at 8:25 a.m.

    Frank, my assertion of speed was meant to incorporate quickness and agility, but when CR7 was at United and the early parts of RM it was not beyond him to push the ball past players and beat them.  Your comparison on Berkamp is correct.  One of my favorite players but though both he and Van Persie are not close to Ronaldo or let's even say Mbappe. Maybe Berkamp clips MBappe because Berkamp was resiculously good.  I think it's fair making comparisons even if the players are different style players because you look at production.  Let's wait to see what Ziyech does.  He is a fabulous player and if Pulisic can hold up physically.  He will probably have to change his game at some point as he gets in his 30s but that's almost 8-10 years from now.

  16. frank schoon replied, November 4, 2020 at 9:35 a.m.

    Sean, <"I think it's fair making comparisons even if the players are different style players because you look at production."> Yes, you can make comparisons but not like the one you with CP and Ziyech at a younger age. I could turn it around and say CP was nowhere near Ziyech abilities as a young player for Ziyech at much younger played and developed a la dutch which CP unfortunately never had. But you don't see me try to compare CP to Ziyech on that for that is useless. 

    But what you can compare is the crossing abilities, on the run , under pressure , with either foot, shooting, passing, dribbling in small spaces, thinking...etc. As far as speed goes CP is faster than Ziyech but that's neither here nor there. So, yes, you can take each facet and compare. As productivity goes, you need to be more explicit for productivity has to be measured in different ways and not one on one directly for Ziyech coming to Chelsea has a much different role to play than CP and therefore CP's goal production has to be compared to Ziyech multi-purpose play, like creating space for other teammates, looking for open man for the assist..just to name a couple, for Ziyech tends to make his teammates look and play better for he is also great in the combination....All I'm saying is  Productivity is differently measured when comparing CP to Ziyech for Ziyech is more multifunctional

    then you look more at assists which will go to Ziyech's for he has a much better view and understanding of the game and has the skills to carry it out. Productivity has

  17. frank schoon, November 4, 2020 at 9:17 a.m.

    Sean, the problem in England because of the English style which is very physically demanding is that are very ,very few players in their 30's. Now Bergkamp played in his 30's  but his style was not demand, high octane, physical prowess but smarts and great technique. A quote by Thierry Henri ,Bergkamps teammate, was "I'm just a simple race horse when I compare myself to Dennis Bergkamp". What Henri was saying is that Bergkamp had so much more ability in every  facet of the game. I'm not saying Ziyech has all the great abilities of an Bergkamp but they both had a come from similar development and style and played for Ajax. This is why it is very pleasing to the eye watching Ziyech play with Chelsea for his first reaction upon receiving the ball is not to make a run right away. First of all,his FIRST  reaction is not of being speedy Gonzalez, and make a run with the ball as so many attackers do; instead he employs Ajax thinking of knowing what to do before getting the ball ,which is to see what his best options are, passing, quick give and go, switch the field, or just pass it back to the line behind to set things up again, or if he's pressured tightly he has the skills to play in very small spaces. In other words, his extra game dimensions makes it less likely for him to feel under pressure and if needs be he can beat his opponent one on one and quickly pass off. It is very tough to read him or even guard closely. And this is the direction I want CP to go in his development. For starters I want CP to work on his crossess (left foot) and direct diagonal  ball to the other side, either foot, to switch the attack.

    Mbappe ,to me is a very stupid, with no game insights who basicly relies on running like chicken with his head cut off. Sure he's athletic and can outrun an opponent, but he's got no brains....If he only had some of Ziyech's abilities then he would be an interesting player to watch...

    Great players don't need to use speed, but that doesn't mean that in certain situations speed is not warranted. CR like you mentioned when he was younger did employ a quick run which is fine. When I talk about not employing speed that doesn't mean no speed for Cruyff used speed( quickness). The important thing is when speed becomes a player's weapon than you become predictable. CR is quick ,takes two steps as if he will make a run but stops and switch directions. In between this movement he will gained a step or two on the opponent although he hasn't gone anywhere. That little extra space is enough to make a cross or pass or an open space for him to run into and besides CR's is capable of dribbling/shooting/crossing/passing with either foot something Mbappe is unable to do. Now Mbappe can outrun CR backwards for he is fast but that has nothing to do with soccer....Look at Zlatan at 39 at AC Milan, mister 'NO SPEED" ,he dealing out there....

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