For a club that has had a staggering number of managers over the past few seasons, Chelsea are looking like they might finally have one worth keeping.
Frank Lampard arrived at the London club with plenty of fanfare earlier this summer. Although the Chelsea hero was sorely lacking in Premier League managerial experience, he has gradually shown that he has the ability and belief necessary to bring the feelgood factor back to Stamford Bridge.
His predecessor Maurizio Sarri managed to bag the Europa League trophy for the club last season. But his negative style of play quickly alienated the Stamford Bridge faithful and it wasn’t surprising that Sarri eventually left Chelsea to manage Juventus.
The appointment of Frank Lampard to the head coach role both delighted and surprised the Chelsea fanbase. Although he was a legendary player for the football club, his inexperience as a manager made many worry about his suitability for the role. With his only real test being managing Derby County, many people were questioning how long Lampard would handle the pressure cooker that is Stamford Bridge.
Things certainly didn’t start well for Lampard and his Chelsea team. The London club were smashed 4-0 away to Manchester United at the start of the season, although this result didn’t reflect the quality of Chelsea’s performance. This was followed by a gruelling 1-1 home draw to Leicester City that highlighted the fact that Chelsea started their games strongly, but quickly ran out of steam later in the game.
The match saw the youngster Mason Mount scoring a goal for Chelsea, and it highlighted the fact that Lampard has made his young players a core part of the team. Much of this is probably due to the fact that Chelsea were banned from making any more signings over the summer transfer period. But it still marks an impressive show of a resolve for a club who many had written off following the exit of star player Eden Hazard.
The youngsters were on form again in their 2-3 away win over Norwich City. This saw Mason Mount once again getting his name on the scoresheet, and it marked the true arrival of Tammy Abraham who hit the back of the net twice.
Abraham had suffered from a mixed start to the season, but quickly bounced back and has become one of the top scorers in the Premier League. Much of this is thanks to Abraham’s excellent hat-trick in Chelsea’s 2-5 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. All three of Abraham’s goals came from different areas of the pitch and it’s clear that the youngster is set to be one of Chelsea’s stars of the future.
However, it’s clear that Chelsea still have a few things to work on. There were concerns about their record at home that were highlighted when they threw away an early lead to be held 2-2 by Premier League newcomers Sheffield United. Plus Chelsea’s 1-2 away defeat by Liverpool showed that Lampard’s team still have lots of room for improvement when it comes to taking on the Premier League’s top teams.
Despite this, Chelsea seem to be flourishing where other so-called ‘big six’ teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are struggling. The club’s recent 1-0 home win against Newcastle United was their third-straight victory in a row, and it’s easy to see why betting resources like openodds.com are filled with sites giving short odds for Chelsea to bag themselves a Champions League place next season.
Above all, it’s the fact that Chelsea finally have a manager they believe in that could be their greatest asset. Lampard has shown himself to be a relatively humble manager that is a long way from his predecessors, and his willingness to invest in youth could see him building a phenomenal Chelsea side for the future.
Feature photo credit: Lachlan Fearnley