It is arguable that most top flight managers differentiate by two different philosophies. One type like to lay down a rigid plan with consistent basics and make slight tweaks to their team to suit different situations. The other like to go into games with different formations each time, all set up according to the opponent they face. Naturally, there is no clear winner between the both, however it is important to decide which philosophy would help Chelsea and Frank Lampard the most for the coming seasons.
A perfect example of these philosophies can be seen during the UEFA Champions League last season. Tottenham, led by Mauricio Pochettino were a team that did not have a consistent style present but held their strength in the different dynamics they could present at any minute of the game. They were opposed by Liverpool, led by Jurgen Klopp who played a very similar style each game, with their strength lying in them repeatedly doing their tasks flawlessly. Although both styles have their benefits and drawbacks, it is interesting to predict which path Frank Lampard will take during his Chelsea management tenure.
Personally, i believe Frank should go down the versatility path. He has inherited a team full of eager youngsters and players of various qualities ready to hit the ground running. He also does not have the luxury of signing players to fit a certain rigid style so he has to mold according to the skillset of his players. It is also acceptable that Frank will not have much time in management if the results initially go south, meaning he cannot be afforded the comfort of training his players to fit the exact roles he needs from them. Hence, i believe it is a good idea for Frank to have at least 3 different solid formations before entering October. This way, his squad can seamlessly switch between these formations before and during each game and play a variety of different tactics to hurt the opposition
I also do not doubt Frank Lampard as a tactical genius, basing off what he has shown us in pre season. It is clear he observed all his players in training and his creating tactics/formations that work best with his squad. Notably, he’s not binned the high press defense and playing out from the back that Sarri left in this squad. He also seems to be leaning towards a possession based game, although this seems to be the case mainly when playing 4-2-3-1. He is asking his fullbacks to play similar to what Conte asked, although with more defensive duties. I wouldn’t be too surprised to find him play long balls against weaker teams that our attackers can overpower during the course of this season. Hence, it is clear Frank is working his way towards a team that uses unpredictability to their advantage, something that could be vital for us against United and Liverpool during our first few games of the season.
It is still possible he accepts 4-2-3-1 as the main formation, as i think he would depend heavily on Kovacic and Jorginho’s midfield prowess. It also maximizes the impact Pulisic can have on the game, allowing the young scarlet to fully express himself. This could easily change once Kante and Ruben return to the mix though. In any case, Frank seems to have handled the Chelsea job quite well and although it is still early days. the signs are looking positive for a top 4 finish.