It’s been a somewhat bumpy start to life as Chelsea manager for Frank Lampard.
Four games, one win, two draws and one defeat have slightly taken some of the gloss away from his arrival back to Stamford Bridge.
Despite the lack of points, there’s been some positive signs that Lampard’s footballing vision is going in the right direction.
There was plenty to cheer about despite the 4-0 score line at Old Trafford.
Matching, if not bettering, the European Champions in the Super Cup and the stunning opening 25 minutes against Leicester City, are all signs that point to us being there or there abouts.
It seems there’s just a few pieces missing in the jigsaw of Lampard’s Chelsea.
For many, these missing pieces come in the shape of our injured players, who once they return can help transform our shaky form.
For sure N’Golo Kante is one of those out injured who definitely transforms our team. Our only genuine world class player since the loss of Eden Hazard and you’ve only got to look at his performance in the Super Cup to see what he brings to this side.
The other senior player due to return is Antonio Rudiger, now while I believe he’s a shoe in to replace Kurt Zouma in the starting eleven, he’s still, in my opinion, not at the top level that this defence needs.
Rudiger would be fantastic alongside a John Terry or a Virgil van Dyke, but not so much as the main man.
Thinking he’s going to come in and solve this leaking defence is a tad naive. Yes he’ll bring more experience and his passion and leadership qualities on the pitch are second to none in this side, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s not an elite level central defender.
Another player tipped with rejuvenating the defence and replacing club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is Reece James.
Now I must admit to being guilty of hyping this kid up perhaps a tad too much. I spoke to people who watched Wigan Athletic all last season and the reviews were glowing.
So much so that they claimed he’ll be captaining not just Chelsea, but England, in the near future. That’s some claim.
And while he’s impressed on loan and looks physically ready for the Premier League we must remember that this is a player whose never kicked a ball at this level, and we’re expecting him to come in and immediately fix our problems down the right side of our defence?
Steady on now.
The fourth player expected to walk into the side and immediately hit the ground running is Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The winger, who asked to leave the club last season after a lack of game time, is expected to stay at the club and sign a new deal after he started to make more appearances at the end of last season.
If it wasn’t for his injury, he’d almost certainly would have started a European final. Add to those appearances the return of Frank Lampard and Jody Morris and suddenly academy players believe they have a real chance of making it at Chelsea.
However, let’s remember that despite the plaudits and the expectation on Callum’s shoulders he still hasn’t scored a goal in the Premier League and has only put in rememberable performances against poor Europa League opposition.
Yes he has the potential, but delivering that potential in the Premier League is a totally different prospect.
The last player is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, now let’s make no mistake here, Ruben has proven his worth in a Chelsea shirt and has done it at the top level to show he’s a vital member of our squad.
But continued concerns over his proneness to injury and a rumoured set back to the injury he picked up in our game against Anti-Semitism at the end of last season could mean we don’t see Loftus-Cheek back on the pitch until March, meaning our season will be pretty much done and dusted.
If we can keep him fit, Loftus-Cheek has all the attributes to be a real menace to opposition teams, but this isn’t the first serious injury Ruben’s suffered and sadly I fear it won’t be the last.
There’s plenty of reasons to he positive about this squad and there’s plenty of reasons to look a bit harder for those positives with Lampard in charge.
But expecting 5 players, 2 of those who’ve hardly kicked a ball in the Premier League to come in and transform the team might be a little premature.
Let’s support them, but perhaps err on the side of caution.