A week ago today I wrote that we should all take the loss every once in a while, that there were more important things going on in the world and no matter what we could rely on Arsenal for a laugh.
What a difference a week makes.
A 3-1 defeat away at, not just Arsenal, but at the worst Arsenal team in the Premier League era has seemingly split the fan base.
For many, this defeat is just another bump in the road that comes with an inexperienced team with an inexperienced manager.
For some, the defeat signifies the shortcomings in Lampard’s managerial ability that he hasn’t been able to improve and he’s taken us as far as he can.
The truth as always is somewhere in the middle, those who are seemingly willing to follow Lampard no matter where we are in the table need to accept that there’s a line somewhere that if Lampard crosses will result in his departure.
And those who believe he’s already crossed that line need to realise that he’s no where near it.
The defeat to Arsenal was bad, really really bad, in all honesty their team is awful and Arteta used a simple tactical ploy of overloading the fullbacks, Reece James in particular, and Lampard was unable to respond.
But still, defeat hasn’t left us down and out, the league table is still wide open, Liverpool held at home to West Bromwich Albion, should Klopp get the sack? Mourinho again failing to pick up more than a point in the 3 games we’ve been beaten in. Should Spurs call it a day?
Lampard is getting the £200m transfer spend thrown at him, which again is another misnomer. We missed two windows, and took advantage of a situation that suited buyers.
And anyway, putting six new signings into a team and thinking it’s going to work straight away needs to pack their FIFA away.
Plus we haven’t had all six players fit at the same time to really see how they get on with each other.
The brief moments we have seen it have probably been the best we’ve seen so far. So let’s cut a bit of slack for the time being.
Timo Werner will not play out wide if all the wingers are fit and available. If he does then you have a right to kick up a fuss.
While Hakim Ziyech is out, and Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are returning to full fitness we might need to utilise Werner playing off of Tammy Abraham or Oliver Giroud, but the end goal will ultimately be Werner through the middle.
Personally, I’d be talking to the board about going all out for Haaland, and using 3-4-1-2 in the future.
3 central defenders, Reece James and Ben Chilwell as full backs, N’Golo Kante/Declan Rice with Mason Mount/Mateo Kovacic in midfield, Kai Havertz, Ziyech or Pulisic as a #10 with two strikers upfront.
But what do I know?
Not a lot, but I do know one thing, there is a line for Lampard, a minimum marker and that again will be top 4.
It’s difficult to mark progress given the disruption to the season, but maintaining Champions League football is the be all and end all.
If there’s more signings this January and then next summer, falling away in the title race would probably mean
For now, he’ll be allowed time to continue this journey, just as Antonio Conte was when he threw his second season tantrum and ran Chelsea into the Europa League.
Those who believe he’ll get sacked if we lose to Aston Villa or Manchester City need a reality check, as do those who believe we could get relegated with Frank in charge.
I don’t believe you have to separate the manager from the player, he’ll ultimately be judged on results just as all the other managers that have come before him.
The legacy of his playing days was only a factor last season, the fact he finished 4th was a bonus not many predicted.
What we need now, is supporters to support, why wouldn’t you want your greatest ever player to also be your greatest ever manager, what better feeling would there be than that?