After the recent Derby statement announcing that Frank Lampard has been given permission to speak to Chelsea it seems almost inevitable that Chelsea’s all time top goal-scorer will be the main man in the Stamford Bridge dugout next season.
Although this article may seem pessimistic I just want to make it clear form the outset that I will back Lampard fully until the end. This opinionated piece purely portrays what I believe are realistic expectations for the upcoming season.
Firstly I want to cover league expectations for the current circumstance Chelsea find themselves in. Although the transfer ban seemed a difficult obstacle on its own the situation got even worse with the loss of talisman Eden Hazard who scored or assisted 49.2% of Chelsea’s goals last season.
With Man City and Liverpool seemingly levels above everybody else right now another top four scrap looks certain. Albeit with opposition such as Man United and Arsenal seemingly weak right now there is a decent chance at a Champions League spot however unless another player can step up Chelsea will miss Eden Hazard’s game winning spark and realistically could miss out on a top four place.
Another feature of Frank Lampard’s arrival Chelsea fans are seemingly excited about is the integration of players from the youth setup to the first team. No player has come through the academy and nailed down a first team spot since John Terry but the issue was only really pushed last season to the misfortune of Maurizio Sarri during the Callum Hudson-Odoi saga.
Although as academy graduate Tammy Abraham has said ‘There is no better guy to play under’ as a young player coming through, Chelsea fans must be realistic and not expect half of our team next year to be these boys from the academy. Yes there are undoubtedly talents such as Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi that will undoubtedly get a chance however coming into a job as big as Chelsea’s Lampard couldn’t just neglect a large portion of the senior players.
Integration will take time and from a supporters point of view team selections can be frustrating but to get squad harmony right Lampard needs to find the right balance of experience and talent as too much of one will simply not cut it with teams in the Premier League as good as they are right now.
Yes this article may have seemed negative but I believe given the circumstances Chelsea fans must lower there expectations coming into the new season as Maurizio Sarri was also the victim of over-expectations. There are no doubts in my mind youth integration will happen but time must be given for this and also for the results to come. The truth is Chelsea haven’t had a title winning squad in the last two years but with Lampard coming in as well as other former players getting different roles at the club, now is the time for a rebuild. Lower expectations this season and improve where we must next summer and this club may be in a better sustainable situation than it has been for a long time.
By Joe Martin
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JMartinCFC