Former Chelsea legend and now manager Frank Lampard has had a rocky start as his tenure at Stamford Bridge. The club legend who scored 210 goals being the clubs leading goalscorer, assisted 150 times and won 11 trophies including 3 Premier League titles, was appointed as manager on 4th July 2019.
Rocky beginnings at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have played 4 games so far in the Premier League and have managed to draw 2 against Sheffield United and Leicester, winning one game against Norwich and losing 4-0 to Manchester United in the opening game of the season which was the biggest defeat a Chelsea manager suffered in their first game since 1978. Chelsea are currently sitting 11th in the table.
In their preseason they haven’t looked the best with a crop of newly inserted young talent being put in the mix: for instance newly promoted number 9, Tammy Abraham, and highly rated midfielder, Mason Mount who got his first England call up. These players have all come from the prolific Chelsea Academy. Another addition in Emerson is proving to be a quality player on the flanks, already proving Lampard may have the right tools at his disposal to do well at Chelsea
On the other hand, Lampard has an equally bad crop of players who need to be ushered out of the team, in the likes of Azpilicueta, Batshuayi, Zouma, Marco’s Alonso . With David Luiz forcing a move to London rivals Arsenal it has also left him with a centre back problem. Luiz was arguable their best defender especially in big games. Chelsea this season have already conceded eleven goals in five games.
Lampard in the deep end?
This is only Lampard’s second tenure as a professional manager. Having managed Derby in the Championship last year where he brought them 6th which is a playoff spot and took them all the way to the playoff final against Villa to eventually lose on penalties. Though he had one of the best teams in the league that year and should have seemingly gotten that vital promotion to the Premier League for Derby. The question is was Lampard appointed too soon?
Even though fans would be delighted with his initial appointment, some fans would have liked to see Lampard with a bit more managerial cache under his belt before coming to the big club that Chelsea is.
With all the top competitions on his hands, it is going to be a rollercoaster ride for Lampard especially when the Champions League comes round and games are coming in thick and fast. The level of difficulty has ramped up tremendously for Lampard and it’s really time to put his coaching badge on show. It’s all well and good learning on the job but some things require experience especially in game management.
Frank Lampard was an incredible player and was a very intelligent footballer but seeing the game from a managerial viewpoint and adjusting appropriately is a level he hasn’t mastered yet.
This we can see with OGS at Manchester United and even though he originally went on an amazing winning streak that came crashing down he’s now faced with the reality of nursing a wounded United back to it’s former days of glory.
Lampard’s club legend status will buy him time and patience with the fans but a poor run of results into the second half of season will prove problematic even for the most loyal Lampard fan.
A problem of tactics?
So far Lampard has been sticking with his 4-2-3-1 formation which works relatively well when his team is at full strength but it is evident that it currently isn’t working as it doesn’t provide enough protection to the back line.
On the other hand, having Mason mount and Barkley further forward allows for more creativity in the final phase of the pitch. However, it’s not enough to warrant the downside effect its having. Lampard is resilient on making the formation work when a 4-3-3 would be more appropriate having Jorginho in the sitting position which he’s well known for this would free up Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek a bit more and definitely make fans happier. His main concern now is trying to find a way to win and do it convincingly. One day in the future he might become a great manager but at this present time there’s not sufficient evidence of that.
If Lampard can take Chelsea to the top 4 then he most likely deserves the manager of the year award for such great achievement. There’s already odds on which new manager will get the sack first.