Frank Lampard was appointed as the Chelsea manager in the summer. The club legend started brightly but the team has failed to stay consistent since.
I will look at the reasons why in this analysis of Lampard’s work so far. I believe that more than 6 months and 30 games at the helm are enough for a proper evaluation of the bad and the good he brought to the club.
I would like to start with the good from Lampard’s time as a gaffer. There’s certainly a lot to like and his main success has been the development of the young Chelsea players.
For years, getting the best out of promising talents in their early twenties has been an issue with the Blues. Most managers felt the pressure to perform on the spot and simply refused to rely on players that lack experience.
Frank Lampard changed that and the results have been excellent. Players like Mason Mount, Tamy Abraham, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Christian Pulisic, and Callum Hudson’Odoi improved dramatically under the new boss.
They are the future of the club and the experience gained so far during the season will be invaluable. One could argue that the transfer ban and Lampard’s status at the Bridge helped him experiment with the squad more.
That’s true but it doesn’t mean that anyone could have developed the youngsters in the same fashion. Lampard nurtured them and has built a young core that could be the backbone of the team for years.
The other huge positive is the performance of Jorginho. The Brazilian struggled under other managers but he’s now back to his best. The midfielder has been orchestrating the game and Lampard is using him properly.
That helped the manager create the identity of the current Chelsea side. It’s a team that can control the game and change the tempo at will. You can see the Blues keep the ball patiently at times and attack with lightning pace when the opportunity is there.
A quick look at Chelsea’s results in the past two months or so shows a lot of defeats. The one against Newcastle on Saturday was not a precedent. The Blues have lost against the likes of Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham, and Everton since the middle of November.
The main reason for that is that Lampard seems unable to use the full depth of his squad. The Blues often don’t have a plan B and can’t change the flow of the games if they are not going well.
Just look at Olivier Giroud and Pedro. Both veterans have plenty of experience and have proven their worth in the past.
The French striker is historically one of the best subs in the English Premier League. He has scored a ton of goals from the bench both for Chelsea and Arsenal. Pedro is another player that can certainly help under various circumstances.
Lampard has failed to integrate them to the squad and both guys have only 5 appearances each in the Premier League.
It was easy to defend the manager’s approach when the team was winning match after match but that hasn’t been the case recently.
If Lampard was able to keep both players fresh by giving them playing time every now and then, they could’ve contributed to Chelsea’s season.
Frank Lampard had the luxury to start fresh and with all the support in the world at Chelsea. If you add the transfer ban and the abysmal performance by other top sides, the club legend couldn’t have wished for better circumstances in his first season of the helm.
He has done enough so far but the future will require improvement. Lampard needs to learn how to use his entire squad and keep the players motivated and ready to help at any given moment. That’s the only way to succeed in modern football, as you can see with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.