Mikel Arteta hopes Frank Lampard is given time at Chelsea as Premier League managers continue to deal with the challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (More Football News)
Chelsea went top of the table with a 3-1 triumph over Leeds United on December 5 but have collected just seven points in their eight games since then.
The worrying run included a 3-1 defeat away to Arteta's Arsenal on Boxing Day, a result that ended a seven-match streak without a win for the Gunners in the top flight.
Lampard insisted on Friday he does not pay any attention to speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge and has now received support from the man in charge of a rival club.
"I've known Frank for a few years as well and I've spent some time with him," Arteta told the media.
"I would like [Chelsea] to support him and give him a chance. He has huge experience as a player, he is an icon over there.
"He's done some really good things, but you need time and if there's something we haven't had in this calendar year, it's time to work on anything."
3 - Alongside Tammy Abraham (12), Timo Werner (14) and Kai Havertz (10) are the only players to have been involved in 10+ competitive goals for Chelsea this season. Youngsters.@nathanevans94 explains why he thinks Chelsea fans should have a little patience with the German duo.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 21, 2021
Arteta, who found his own position in the spotlight during Arsenal's struggles earlier in the campaign, feels clubs will benefit in the long run if they show some patience.
"Fortunately, if [clubs] see what you're trying to do is going to have rewards in the future and they are a little bit patient, most of the time it pays off, if everybody is convinced that we are doing things the right way," the Spaniard said.
"I speak with a lot of managers and some of them have been in the game for over 30 years, and they said, 'I never experienced something like that'. This is a new game, new rules. There are so many things we cannot control. It's out of our hands in a lot of moments.
"I listen a lot to that because we tend to put more and more pressure and demand a lot of ourselves. It's a very strange league this season, and you can see that in many teams."
Holders Arsenal continue their FA Cup defence on Saturday when they travel to Southampton.
All four previous meetings between the teams in the competition have ended with Arsenal victorious; they also went on to win the trophy on three occasions, in 1979, 2003 and 2017.
Southampton have won just one of their previous nine meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, a 3-2 league victory in December 2018.