Up Next for Chelsea: Saturday, November 2nd at 1:30pm at Watford. Line: Watford +370 | Draw +355 | Chelsea -152
Chelsea fans have been entertained this season. Lampard, the club’s former midfield talisman who won a Champions League and three league titles with The Blues, has introduced an expansive and exciting style of play.
Lampard’s team have been so good to watch, the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid has barely been noticed.
The introduction of youth and exuberance has also paid off. The valuable contributions from Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Fiyako Tomori have been hard to miss.
Mount and Abraham in particular have been influential, appearing in all EPL games this season.
It’s a remarkable start from Lampard, and his assistant former Chelsea player Jody Morris.
Especially when considering it’s a partnership that only began last season in the Championship with Derby County, where they lost the Premier League playoff final to Aston Villa.
Chelsea Scoring For Fun on Away Days
Outside of a 4-0 opening day of the season defeat at Manchester United, Chelsea have been in superb form away from Stamford Bridge.
Last Saturday Christian Pulisic announced his arrival in English football with a stunning hat trick in the 4-2 victory at Burnley.
The Blues also managed to hit four in the 4-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s earlier in October.
And in September they eclipsed that with an emphatic 5-2 away win at Wolves, perhaps their most impressive PL result so far this season. In that match, Abraham scored another hat trick in the space of 21 minutes.
The swashbuckling way Lampard has set his team up has allowed Chelsea to pick off teams on their travels.
There are fewer passes per game, 570 in comparison to 660 under Maurizio Sarri last season. However, Lampard’s more potent approach is a far cry from the sterile methods of his predecessor..
If there is one downside to the start that Chelsea have made, it’s that defensively more goals have been conceded.
At a rate of 1.6 per game this season, as opposed to just over a goal per game last season.
Ajax Result Shows Chelsea Maturity
Yet it was the recent 1-0 win in the Champions League against Ajax in Amsterdam that impressed Lampard the most.
This crucial victory over last season’s semi-finalists was a coming of age performance according to the 41-year-old former England international, as his team produced a balanced and mature display. It’s a result that shows the increased mental toughness and winning mentality of this Chelsea side.
Perhaps this is not surprising of Chelsea’s fledglings, when you consider that the club have won seven of the last ten FA Youth Cups, including a spell of five tournament wins in a row, ended by Liverpool last season.
This is something which Jody Morris would know all about, as Chelsea’s former youth team coach.
Experienced Heads Play Vital Part
The victory in Amsterdam was also orchestrated by the experience of Willian and captain Azpilicueta.
Willian has been in impressive from displaying guile and leadership in recent weeks.
Jorginho has also stepped up after an indifferent year under Sarri. This improvement is matched by Kovacic, after he made his loan spell from Real Madrid a permanent in the close season.
Transfer Ban Still Lingers Over Chelsea
The two transfer window bans imposed last February for a breach of rules when dealing with players under the age of 18 may have actually done Chelsea a huge favour. It forced Lampard to develop the squad’s youth.
Chelsea’s appeal over the ruling was registered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in June, but any hearing has not been planned yet by the court up to November 13th.
Lampard has admitted that even if the judgement is overturned, it would not necessarily result in him making signings in January. He has said that a club like Chelsea may strengthen next summer.
The appointment of Lampard may be viewed in years to come as a cultural change at Stamford Bridge, with a young English manager being appointed promoting young English players.
It’s a far cry from the lavish spending and the revolving door of mostly experienced foreign managers that have been employed in the era of Roman Abramovich.
Only time will tell if there is a real transformation under way in West London.