I’ve been wondering what to write about recently, there’s not been too much to shout about in recent weeks and I didn’t want to be too negative (I save that for twitter) so I thought why not just write about this and that.
What’s the plan batman?
Following the lacklustre 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth last weekend, Frank Lampard half heartedly called out Chelsea supporters for their failure to gee up the team.
The gaffer did admit that the players also have a responsibility to entertain, but it was the type of football he described which worried me the most.
”Centre back to centre back, centre back to full back, back to centre back.
”I wouldn’t be happy watching that.”
Why are we then Frank? Isn’t that, and excuse me for intruding, but, your job?
It’s seeming more and more that in these games against teams happy to defend in low blocks and let us have possession that we’ve got absolutely no idea what we’re doing.
Yes it’s been great that the likes of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have been given extra freedom, but letting forward players drift into positions that are naturally comfortable for them can also mean that space can become crowded and our play disjointed.
One of the biggest criticisms of last season was that the players where too restricted and couldn’t think freely, but Frank seemingly going the complete opposite isn’t working either.
Kepa’s a keeper
The 23-year-old Spain international has come under criticism recently for his performances. True he has suffered from the occasional ‘poppadom wrist syndrome”but apart from that I’m not quite sure why he’s become the new punching bag.
He had an excellent debut season, helped by a settled defence and a clear set of instructions on what to do with the ball.
Lampard has, partly due to injury, chopped and changed his defence, and as a goalkeeper this can be unsettling.
Last season Kepa had David Luiz constantly wanting possession, where as this season he’s got Kurt Zouma not even looking in an attempt to get the ball as far away from him as possible.
Kepa is young, still developing, and has the potential to become Europe’s number one goalkeeper. What he needs is support, better coaching and clear team instructions.
CHO money CHO cry
Another player coming in for some stick is Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 19-year-old has struggled to get himself into Lampard’s starting XI and has looked rusty in his substitute appearances recently.
And so he should.
Coming back from a big injury like he did means it will take him time, maybe a lot of time, to get back to his fullest.
However, when you ask to leave to join a big European team, and then use that interest to negotiate a bumper contract, you kind of lose people’s willingness to be patient.
He’s made his luxury king size bed, so now he’s got to lie in it.
Monday’s Champions League draw saw us drawn alongside our 2012 final opponents Bayern Munich.
It allowed supporters an instant recollection of that famous night in May, but thoughts quickly turned to the upcoming matches.
Not many will give us a chance, just like in 2012, but I think that plays into our hands. Our best games this season (City, Liverpool x2, Ajax) have been when we’ve not really been fancied, and also when we’ve had to follow a more structured game plan.
That plays into what I was mentioning earlier about a lack of clear direction, whereas the bigger games the coaching staff seem to go over every detail.
Whether we win or not is not really the telling point for us, but whether or not we stay in the tie will be how we grade Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
This will be my last piece before the New Year so I’d like to wish all readers and listeners of the fancast a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
I’ve asked Santa for an early present this year, three points against Spurs!
Dean is the author of ‘Cult Fiction- how a year under Sarri almost tore Chelsea apart’ available on Amazon now amzn.to/2T7v5Tu