The start of Frank Lampard’s career as a Chelsea manager was excellent. The young players thrived under the manager and the team had a long streak of wins that put it in a strong position for the top 4 race.
Fast-forward a couple of months and Chelsea has won only four of the last fourteen games in the English Premier League. The club will be facing a tough battle for a place in the Champions League next season, with the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham, Sheffield United, and a bunch of other clubs within touching distance.
What Causes Chelsea’s Issues?
Just like Lampard earned praise for his early run, he should now take the blame for his side’s recent failures. It was evident from the start of the season that the manager wants to develop young players and this will be his top priority.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but Lampard too this strategy to the extreme at times.
That left some of the senior members of the squad like Olivier Giroud and Pedro in a tough spot. They didn’t receive enough playing time to stay in form and slowly saw a further deduction of their time on the pitch to a point where they weren’t playing at all.
This worked well for the manager up to a certain moment, but the lack of rotation and experience in the starting lineups started hurting Chelsea.
It’s the root of the problems on the pitch. The Blues could’ve used the creative energy of Pedro or Giroud’s presence in the box to unlock the opponent’s on many occasions.
The leadership of the experienced players also could’ve helped them team avoid a couple of collapses that were more down to the lack of confidence than anything else. You need your veterans on the pitch when the going gets tough.
Has Lampard Realized His Mistake?
I’ve said multiple times that Lampard needs to improve the way he manages the squad. Not only for the sake of this season but his future at the club.
The Chelsea legend was extremely intelligent as a player and he might be starting to realize his mistakes as a manager too. Last night’s defeat against Manchester United but it showed signs in the right direction.
It was Chelsea’s oldest starting lineup under Lampard and he started both Willian and Pedro on the wings. Olivier Giroud got his chance to affect the game in the second half and even scored a goal that was overturned by VAR.
If it wasn’t for Kante’s injury and the referee’s mistake in the Maguire incident, it could have been a different story.
There’s a long road ahead and it might be too late for this season, but it’s good that Frank Lampard might have recognized his errors since the start of the campaign.
If he wants to have sustained success at the top level, the manager will have to learn how to use the full capacity of his squad. The balance between rising youngsters, top players in their prime and veterans with loads of experience is the key to building and maintaining a competitive team.