Possibly Chelsea’s greatest ever player has managed to earn himself the position as the boss at Stamford Bridge. Being openly keen to go into management, Frank Lampard did not hesitate in the past to express his desire to become the Chelsea manager. For most players that establish themselves as club legends, any desire of becoming the club’s manager is often overshadowed by the possibility of them doing their legacy harm.
Lampard must be given credit. He has taken his new career by storm and has really grabbed the bull by the horns. Turning Derby into a tremendous and competitive side in the English Championship is no easy feat. Yet, somehow his new project at Chelsea may be an infinitely greater task.
And although Lampard has acquired his dream job, it has come at a price. He is to be the man to restructure a side that has been heavily dependant on their attacking threat coming from Eden Hazard. The Belgian superstar’s exit will leave a gaping hole in Chelsea’s creativity in the final third of the pitch.
To make matters worse, Lampard will not get to enjoy one of the most wonderful times of the year for a Chelsea manager…the transfer window. Lampard will be unable to add to his squad in January due to a transfer ban that Chelsea have been faced with.
Losing Hazard is one thing. But, being unable to replace Chelsea’s biggest asset seems almost unfair. Lampard is relying on the younger players in his squad to step up and fill the key positions in the team.
Given the way Chelsea is run, it is almost guaranteed that if Lampard doesn’t show signs of improvement within the team during his first season…then he will be out the door. How the Englishman plans to fast track the development of his promising players is unknown.
The worst start imaginable
When Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixture was revealed it sparked huge interest for neutrals. An away battle at Old Trafford would give football fanatics a chance to see which of the two EPL giants had worked hardest over the summer.
Coming onto the pitch, were two of the blandest and boring line-ups ever presented by Chelsea and Manchester United. You could say young and exciting…you’d be wrong. Underdeveloped and non-unique better describe the staring 11’s for both teams. It is fair to say that neither Lampard nor Ole Gunnar Solskjær had an advantage as far as quality on the pitch.
An even first half battle saw both teams waste valuable chances with Man Utd just edging the lead via a penalty. The countless defensive errors from both teams did, however, make the game more watchable due to the amount of goal-scoring opportunities that each side had.
Chelsea would live to regret their missed chances. The second half showed one of the worst 45 minutes ever displayed by a Chelsea side. The men in blue somehow managed to concede 3 goals from counterattacks…without performing any attacks themselves. Their inability to move the ball out of their own half was shocking and proved that Lampard’s young players have got a lot of learning to do.
After the match, a handful of pundits felt Lampard was deserving of credit for selecting young players for Chelsea’s opening EPL match and is likely to learn from this defeat. The regular Sky Sports panel was joined by former Chelsea and Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho. ‘The special one’ decided to take a different and harsher approach to Lampard’s chances of success. Mourinho felt that the lack of experience within the Chelsea squad will prove to be a massive factor.
“A little bit of experience (from Chelsea) would fit well with the team,” claimed Mourinho.
It must be noted that the truth of Mourinho’s statement does not mean that the new Chelsea boss is to blame. He has not had to option to add experience to his squad. Also, Lampard’s hands were slightly tied for the opening game considering that numerous regular starters are currently injured.
“I can’t drag people out of the medical room, whether they’re experienced or not,” said Lampard in a post-match interview.
The Chelsea boss certainly cannot be blamed for anything thus far. However, Lampard knew the circumstances of the club before he accepted his new managerial role. One week into the season is too soon to make judgements, but drastic tactical changes are needed if Chelsea are to take any positives away from this season.
It is unknown how much leeway Frank Lampard will be given due to the unique barriers he will be faced with this season. One thing that is eye-opening is the fact that Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and won the Europa League…and he was despised by Chelsea fans. And so far, Frank doesn’t look like he has the resources to achieve anything close to that.