Frank Lampard admitted Timo Werner was well off the pace before being hauled off against Arsenal.
The Chelsea boss has previously gone out of his way to publicly defend Werner, who has not scored in 10 games and has not found it easy to adjust to the Premier League.
But Lampard pulled no punches in his assessment of Werner – or his team’s all-round display – after the 3-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
He replaced the German and midfielder Mateo Kovacic at half-time.
And he said at his post-match press conference: “Certainly the goals not going in is something an attacking player will get judged on.
“With the subs, I could have made more subs. I felt I had to make subs in those two areas to inject energy.
“Timo wasn’t giving us enough, with or without the ball.
“With some of it we have to give him more time. But also we have to get there quickly.”
Could it be a sign that the manager is losing patience with Werner?
What was definitely clear is that Chelsea’s poor first-half performance annoyed Lampard, whose side have lost three of their last four games.
“There was definitely a lethargic approach to the first half,” he said.
“If you come and play slow, on and off the ball, you’re going to have a big problem trying to get a result.
“We had to attack in the right way and we didn’t.”