Let’s face it, when the opposing team scores a late winner, forgetting the match ever happened can be a simple (yet ineffective) way to deal with the loss.
However, there were some important talking points from out latest defeat against the Magpies – and tackling these concerns sooner rather than later should be Lampard’s biggest priority as we approach some difficult league fixtures.
Lack of Creativity and End Product
These two issues proved to be Chelsea’s biggest weakness in the latest loss at St James’ Park. Yes, we may have had 70% possession – but the Blues had nothing to show for it as they continuously failed to find the back of the net. Often, the boys spent too long on the ball – and they need to more decisive in front of goal. Although there were some good chances for Tammy Abraham, he failed to deliver and it wasn’t his finest performance in a Chelsea shirt, having been replaced by Michy Batshuayi in the final 10 minutes. With Lampard openly addressing the need to be more clinical and finish chances, this is clearly a huge problem that we currently possess.
Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Willian Were All Disappointing
Speaking of creativity (or indeed, a lack of it), Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian all looked unimpressive in the game against Newcastle. There has been a lot of discussion surrounding Mount’s recent performances, with the young player failing to make much of an impact once again. Having started nearly every game for the Blues, the 21-year-old looked tired – and is failing to deal with the current pressures. Meanwhile, Willian’s final product was awful with the Brazilian failing to make any promising chances for his teammates. Hudson-Odoi also failed to get into the game, which is disappointing considering his latest burst of confidence.
Reece James Injury Setback
The only spark in Chelsea’s squad on Saturday was Reece James. However, unfortunately for us, the full-back was taken off injured in the second half. As a result, Lampard replaced him with Emerson, switching Cesar Azpilicueta to right back – but his absence was evident. During the game, James put in some superb passes for his teammates and looked confident going against Allan Saint-Maximan. Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious as he will be vital in our upcoming fixtures.
New Centre Back Partnership Needed?
It appears that Lampard still isn’t aware of the best partnership to opt for at the back. Once it was Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori, then it was Zouma and Antonio Rudiger. Now, the boss is trying Rudiger alongside Andreas Christensen – but the latest game highlighted how this may not be the answer to Chelsea’s defensive problems. In fact, it was Rudiger who had the more disappointing game out of the two, with the defender looking shaky and careless. Although Christensen has failed to secure much game time under Lampard, he has looked relatively impressive in recent times – winning duels and gaining possession. Now it may be time for the Chelsea boss to address this area once again.
Defensive Issues Continue
Surprise, surprise. Defensive problems continue to make the headlines for Chelsea’s performances. Newcastle’s only goal in the game should’ve been handled much more efficiently by both the defenders and the keeper. One again, Kepa Arrizabalaga should’ve done better, failing to save a close-range header by Isaac Hayden in the moment we needed him most. Both the cross in by Saint-Maximin and the header by Hayden was far too easy for Newcastle, with our inability to defend set pieces still a major concern.