When the appointment of Frank Lampard by Roman Abramovich was announced beginning of last season, it was met with much scrutiny. With some analysts saying it’s too early for the former Chelsea man to manage such a huge club, and some citing Roman’s impatience with managers as a sign that Lampard could be shown the way out very early in his career.
However, last season ended on a decent note when things are looked at from an objective point of view. Chelsea lost their best player in Eden Hazard, and Lampard had very short time to prepare his team for the new season, coupled with the transfer ban which enabled him rely heavily on his youngsters. Chelsea still managed to finish the season in the top four, entering the FA cup final and having a good season overall.
Abramovich has backed his manager this new season, with the Blues signing a large number of very good players at decent fees. Due to this, there have been expectations by fans and fans of rival clubs that he should be lifting a trophy, but this shouldn’t be expected from the young coach.
Firstly, it’s clear there’s a vision in the club and they are planning for the future, with a higher percentage of the new players being below 25, with Ziyech and Thiago Silva the only players above 25. And as such, the goal is to build a team capable of fighting for and winning trophies in the next couple of years, but definitely not this season.
Also, Chelsea’s defense still remains a problem and it’s not one that could be fixed overnight. Signing Thiago is a short term fix, with hopes that the likes of Christensen, Zouma and Tomori could learn from the veteran defender and make a name for themselves.
In addition, this is real life and not video game, so it takes time to get a team which has an additional six new players to be in harmony and the same wavelength. Havertz and Werner are perhaps familiar with each other, since they both play for the German national team, but Ziyech and Chilwell come from different teams and are very unfamiliar with the Chelsea team, so would need time to actually gel and start playing together. The lack of cohesion in the team was evident in the 3-1 victory against Brighton, with the team relying on individual brilliance, rather than teamwork.
Lampard is building something special at Chelsea, and he appears to be on the right path, but fans and the board of directors would need to be patient with the young manager. The gap between Manchester City and Liverpool have over the rest of the teams can’t be closed in a window, while Rome was not built in a day, Roman might not hesitate to burn it down in one day which could be his biggest mistake ever.
By Muyiwa aguda