LAMPARD SHOULDERS THE BLAME

Chelsea star Frank Lampard has said that the players are very much responsible for the poor form shown by Chelsea in recent weeks, as is the manager Andre Villas-Boas.

It has been reported that Chelsea paid up to £ 25 million in order to secure the services of Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas in the summer.

However, the 34-year-old manager has struggled to cope up with the demands of dealing with some of the biggest players and characters in the world.

As a result, Chelsea are now fighting to finish in the top four, which is a situation that exactly resulted in the sacking of Brazilian manager Scolari.

Andre Villas-Boas has come under intense criticism after failing to help Chelsea stay in touch with the title race between Manchester City and Manchester United. Chelsea lost their latest Premier League match at the hands of Everton.

Following the match, Andre Villas-Boas accepted the blame for the defeat. His tactics in recent matches has come under intense criticism, but Frank Lampard has said that the players should also share the responsibility of the blame. Chelsea were devoid of any creativity in the match. Frank Lampard had one of the best chances in the match, but failed to convert it.

"Of course we do, it's a group thing. It was a bad performance from start to finish. When you come to Everton, the one thing you know they're going to do is fight you, press you and make things tough and we didn't react to that. We created two or three chances and that's not up to standard," Frank Lampard told Chelsea TV.

As a result of this defeat, Chelsea have now slipped out of the top four after Arsenal have sneaked into their place. The latest football betting makes them slim favourites to qualify for the Champions League, though they have some work to do - they are now 10 points behind third placed Tottenham.

HAMMERS WANT LAMPARD BACK

First team opportunities for Frank Lampard has been limited this season.

After having been a first-team regular for Chelsea since his £ 11 million move from West Ham United in 2001, Lampard is finding himself on the bench for the first time since a decade ago.

Because of this there has been a lot of speculation linking Frank Lampard with a number of clubs recently. It was not long ago that Manchester United expressed an interest in the Chelsea midfielder, although the interest was quickly rebuffed by Chelsea.

The latest rumour surrounding Frank Lampard is that West Ham United would be interested in bringing back the player, who was once central to their plans.

Lampard was one among the many youngsters who was key in the survival of West Ham United back then. Frank Lampard came through the ranks alongside Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, and Michael Carrick.

It has now been rumoured that the Hammers will be interested in taking back Frank Lampard from Chelsea, although how many West Ham fans will accept this move has not been clear yet - since, West Ham United and Chelsea see each other as rivals, Frank Lampard has often become the target of many abuse by the West Ham supporters.

Chelsea might be keen to keep Frank until the end of the season, especially with their European campaign hotting up - they now have the best online Champions League betting odds of everyone apart from Barcelona.

It remains to be seen if they will be willing to welcome Frank Lampard back to Upton Park. However, the addition of Lampard will be a major boost to West Ham United not only in their efforts to get back into the Premier League, but also stay in the top division as well.

Lampard would also boost the shirt sales at West Ham United, and it seems that new owners David Gold and David Sullivan have identified Lampard is a potential target. Sam Allardyce is yet to comment on this speculation.s

LAMPARD HAPPY AT CHELSEA

Despite not being able to get regular first-team place, it seems that Frank Lampard is very much happy at Chelsea. Frank Lampard is recognised as one of the best professional within Chelsea ranks, as he rarely complaints regarding an issue.

It has been the case once again as Andre Villas-Boas has decided to drop Frank Lampard from the starting line-up for a few matches this season. Earlier on in the season, Frank Lampard was dropped for a few consecutive matches, but he responded in style by returning to score a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers.

Now, it seems that the failure to get into the first-team against Wolverhampton Wanderers and against Valencia is certainly not going to trouble Frank Lampard, as Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that the England midfielder is looking for a possible contract extension with Chelsea.

The England midfielder has just 18 months left on his current deal, which is thought to be worth around £ 160,000 per week. Even though he is unlikely to get any pay raise, Frank Lampard is thought to be interested in staying with Chelsea beyond his current contract. Frank Lampard will be 34 in the summer and it will be interesting to see if Chelsea will offer him an extended deal.

Reports suggest that Frank Lampard is looking to sign a contract that will keep him until 2014.

"Ron Gourlay told me that [the agent] Steve Kutner contacted him recently. I'm not sure of the situation. And I think we haven't decided yet what to do," Andre Villas-Boas said when asked about Lampard's future at Chelsea. Another player whose future is also in doubt is Didier Drogba. The club is not willing to offer a two year contract for the striker, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

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