I feel like I write this article every summer. Chelsea start their pre-season (sometimes even manager less), they fail to beat a lower quality opposition, and some Chelsea fans break down.
There is also the fact that the ‘Lampard out hashtag’ has been trending on Twitter. But that to me looks like rival supporters ‘having a laugh’, or at least that’s what I truly hope.
Even still, there has been many mentions of worry from Chelsea fans already after day one, when Chelsea failed to beat Irish Premier League side Bohemian FC, who are actually mid way through their season.
New Chelsea manager Frank Lampard picked two different teams for each half, with many of his ‘senior’ players not involved yet due to joining pre-season later.
Using two different teams has many benefits, but it also disrupts the play and the course of the game, naturally. This is expected in pre-season.
The Chelsea players have been back for just five days of training under the new coaching team, and their lack of match fitness showed at times as they struggled to match the intensity that Lampard has been drilling this week. This is unavoidably obvious, and people need to realise that.
Also, their are so many of these players who played last night who will never play a senior game for Chelsea, unfortunately. But Lampard has insisted that every player gets a clean slate to prove themselves before he makes his final squad decision, which is absolutely fair enough.
Players like Lucas Piazon and Lewis Baker for example, are no longer youngsters, they’re mid 20s players and I can’t see them being retained any longer as part of the loan army. But Lampard is giving them ALL a chance to impress and Baker has always been highly rated at Chelsea but yet to break through.
But we have to face the fact that a lot of the players who featured last night will end up being either average Premier League players or quality Championship players, I can’t’ see that Lampard will feel many of them will be good enough to bulk up this Chelsea squad, except the obvious names like Reece James and Mason Mount for example who weren’t involved last night.
Their were obviously some highlights such as Ethan Ampadu, Billy Gilmour and Ian Maatsen who all have that extra factor about them and I can see them being top class players in years to come.
But if anyone really expected that squad to go out and hammer a team who are all still fully match fit and play together week in week out, with a manager they are all familiar with working under, then I can’t help you!
Bottom line is it’s a pre-season match, Chelsea were without the majority of their ‘key’ first team players, and Lampard has had but five days to drill the players into how he wants them to play. You have to be real with your expectations at this point.
I do think the majority of our supporters can see this, but I felt the need to address the minority here.
I do expect to now see some of the fringe players step up their intensity, as this will be the only chance some of them will have to make it at Chelsea, they have to absolutely bust a gut to impress.
I also expect Chelsea to put in a much better performance at the weekend and get a good result, with many more Key and fringe players returning to the squad.