clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lampard Puts Jesse Marsch Right on Pulisic Comments

Claims the former Impact boss misinterpreted a conversation the pair had, pre-season 2019/20.

Frank Lampard (left) claims former Impact boss Jesse Marsch (right) misread comments he made during a chat about Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic.

Chelsea boss and former NYCFC midfielder Frank Lampard has hit back at comments by former Impact coach Jesse Marsch, now with Red Bull Salzburg, over claims that Lampard did not rate Christian Pulisic, ‘because he was American’.

In a story reported by the UK’s MailOnline Sport, Lampard certainly recalled the conversation which occurred when Salzburg played Chelsea pre-season in 2019.

At today’s press-conference Lampard said, “I did read the comments and was surprised Jesse had managed to read my mind as well as he thought he did. He’s recounted the conversation wrong.

“It was a game against Salzburg where we played and Christian scored two goals in pre-season.

“Jesse came up to me and said ‘what a talented player’, which I knew, and I agreed with, and I spoke about how it is exciting for us to see how he can develop.

“That was the conversation. Jesse managed to put it across slightly differently.

“I’m not jumping on Jesse but as a manager I never doubted Christian and it’s important for me to put that straight.

“I played in America for 18 months and I would never underestimate the desire American soccer players have, to learn and improve and take on information and understand the technical side of the game. So when you have that, which Christian has along with incredible talent, it was never in doubt for me.”

Marsch made the claim after the pair chatted, adding the perception of American players [in Europe] is they are technically and tactically ‘not very aware’.

Pulisic found himself in and out of the Chelsea side at the start of last season, but injuries also played a part. By the end of the campaign the 22-year-old had settled and was arguably Chelsea’s best player after lockdown, scoring four times and adding four assists in the last nine games of the season. He also gave Chelsea the lead in the FA Cup final at Wembley, before limping off with an injury.

Marsch had claimed that Lampard was unsure Pulisic was tactically ready for the demands of Premier League football.

“The perception in Europe, mostly, is that the American player is willing to run, willing to fight, has good mentality, but technically they’re not very gifted and tactically they’re not very aware and their experiences aren’t very big,” Marsch told Extratime Radio.

“Even Frank Lampard, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic and he was kind of like, ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn so we’ll see how he does.’”

“I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany. Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.”