Arsenal are just four points clear of the relegation zone and on a dismal run, but Frank Lampard was not entertaining talk of the drop.
Frank Lampard would not be drawn into discussing a potential Arsenal relegation battle, describing Chelsea’s next opponents simply as “a high-quality team”.
Arsenal, 13-time English champions, are winless in seven in the Premier League – one shy of their longest run without victory in the competition – and just four points clear of the bottom three in 15th place.
Mikel Arteta’s problems are continuing to pile up, with the Gunners exiting the EFL Cup following a 4-1 home loss to Manchester City and former mentor Pep Guardiola on Tuesday.
The fixtures are not getting any kinder for Arsenal, whose 12-match unbeaten Boxing Day stretch will be tested by Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
They then visit Brighton and Hove Albion and West Brom, where further defeats to two sides below them in the table could make a battle against the drop a serious prospect.
“I don’t want to talk about what their battle is,” Lampard told a news conference before this weekend’s match against the side that beat Chelsea in this year’s FA Cup final. “They’re just a good team with a good manager.
“They’ve had some tough results recently, but the general wave of the Premier League this season for every team has been a bit more inconsistent than it has probably been in previous seasons.
“My concern isn’t where they’re at. My concern is at face value, their quality; they’re a high-quality team.”
Relegated teams like West Ham and Newcastle United have previously been considered ‘too good to go down’, but Lampard was not interesting in assessing Arsenal’s chances.