?Following a 4-0 drubbing on the opening day of the 2019/20 Premier League season, it would have been hard to envisage that Chelsea would currently be sat third in the table – one point above reigning champions Manchester City.
But they are. And they most certainly deserve to be.
Frank Lampard’s first league game in charge of the Blues was one to forget, as Manchester United put four past them at Old Trafford without reply.
It was a result that left fans fearing the worst.
Since then, the team has only lost once more in the league in 11 games – and this defeat came against runaway leaders Liverpool.
Lampard has been praised for his desire to promote youth, with Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham all shining in the league. Of course, t
The thing is, this would be completely the wrong thing to do.
A ?survey conducted by the Mirror in July 2018 revealed that Chelsea were in fact…the most hated club in the Premier League according to fans from every club in the division. A whopping 68.7% of fans put the west London side at the top of their list. That’s quite something.
So yes, ?Chelsea were in fact disliked. But this has changed, many are beginning to hold a soft spot for the SW6 side and their manager.
Lampard has allowed his youngsters to go and play free-flowing attacking football and this has guaranteed goals. In addition, a never say die attitude has been instilled into the team by their manager, with a number of performances this season backing this up.
Most recently, ?the Blues came back from 4-1 down to draw with Ajax in the Champions League – and in turn, they kept their hopes of progressing to the next stage of the competition alive. This performance was filled with heart, desire and most importantly, a sense of team unity.
So often these days, high profile and talented players have attempted to carry the mantle alone, without the help of their teammates and this has proven detrimental. However, Chelsea’s Champions League display at home to Ajax encapsulated exactly why no reinforcements are needed in January even if the ban is overturned.
When Tammy Abraham clipped the ball into his own net early in the match, his teammates rallied around him and encouraged him to go and make amends. The Englishman looked sharp from that moment, working hard and created chances for himself and others.
Similarly, when Marcos Alonso was hooked at half time for a poor showing, many questioned his replacement – a 19-year-old Reece James. Sure, the club rate him highly, but it was yet another reminder of Lampard’s levels of trust with this group as he put his faith in the full back to come on and be the man to make the difference.
He orchestrated the comeback and even chipped in with a goal himself. Money cannot buy this understanding.
Throughout the team, each individual player is improving with each passing game and the transformation of certain fringe players is unquestionable. The likes of ?Mateo Kovacic and Kurt Zouma have taken their games to the next level this season and have become fixtures in the side.
Following Zouma’s unfortunate injuries, few would have predicted that he would have a future at the club and yet he is playing week in, week out – and this has helped him reignite his international career, as well. As for Kovacic, he
These were all key members of the squad last season and they will add strength in depth once they return, also making it a very competitive squad.
Certain fans have deemed a number of players ‘not good enough’ and have even made their opinions known during matches, for example when there were calls for “Tammy! Tammy! Tammy!” during the club’s tussle with ?Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. They wanted Abraham to come on and replace Batshuayi, but the Belgian scored a stunning goal four minutes later.
Lampard has built a squad that he trusts and one that is performing. With key players set to return, the team will only get stronger and, as a result, it would be criminal to invest in January if the transfer ban is lifted.