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Article Rating 5 Stars

The good, the bad and downright awful!

Four games in and we have been predictably average, excellent in parts, calamitous in others but generally average. I think Chelsea have a unique opportunity here of blooding in young players AND at least challenging for top 4 but we are fragile.

Firstly, our defence. I will hold my hands up and say I expected more from Zouma but the man has been a calamity so far. Can't tackle, can't pass, awful positional sense - what happened to the player Everton wanted to pay a fortune for? And Azpilicueta - my favourite player for a long time - just seems shot. Whether that's from playing next to Zouma or just that he's reaching the end, I don't know but he's not the same. But seeing them play against Sheffield United was heartbreaking, they were just awful. I think it's time to pair Rudiger with Tomori / Cristensen and accept some mistakes will be made and give James a chance. We can't go on like this all season!

Where there is cause for confidence is our midfield. Mount is doing okay and generally we there are good signs. However, brining on a young rookie (Gilmour) in a game where we are holding on by the skin of our teeth is not good either for him, or the team. We have a problem holding on to possession when we need to. We can't purely rely on counter attack with a defence like ours!

And Abraham is doing okay too. He's scoring goals - a rarity for a Chelsea forward! We need to see more from him but I'm quite happy with his development so far. And Pulisic, one day yes, one day no - he needs a little consistency.

Who will have to improve most IMO is Lampard though. Awful tactical awareness, even worse decision making and game management. Where is this famous brain cell he's rumoured to possess? A lot will depend on Kante, Rudiger and Jorginho marshalling the youngsters this year. I hope the ship gains direction because at the moment it seems to be drifting here and there.

posted on 4/9/19

Really good article. Rarely star rate articles on here but that's 5 from me

I've got faith in Zouma & Lampard. Zouma looks very nervous this season, don't think he expected the opportunity in the first team so quickly (Luiz's sell may have taken him by surprise), but he's worth persisting with over Tomori. His pace and power combination is a rare find in a CB even at this level, and given the way Lampard looks to be attempting to play going forward Zouma's gunna be necessary even if only as a squad player going forward.

Agree with the Lampard criticisms but if people expected anything else four games in they're fools. The jump from Championship level to the Premier League is massive for a manager with one years experience - if he'd have looked like he belonged from day one frankly I'd have been stunned. But his mentality as a player gives me 100% confidence that if he has it in him for top flight management he will find it if we give him time and space.

posted on 4/9/19

Good article

The good - Tammy and Mount

The bad - Azpi and our defending

Downright awful - Not turning up in the 2nd half of games

posted on 4/9/19

What I found most interesting is that Frank mentioned AC & RJ as midfield cover options (post-match Sheffield United), in case there's a shortage or emergency.

Not surprised by AC, Frank played him briefly at DM in pre-season and sometimes plays DM for Denmark (with hindsight perhaps could have done that against Sheffield United, instead of Willian).
Jorginho is two away from suspension, having already picked up three. Kovacic injury doubt.
One of AC & RJ may have to reprise midfield role, very soon.

Moments like against Sheffield United is precisely why I would have kept Ampadu around (cover midfield & defence over Tomori) but it is what it is...understand the reasoning for loan, were as a result of being screwed over by the predecessor.

He'll go on to play a lot at Leipzig, even if gametime doesn't look promising at the moment.

posted on 4/9/19

An interesting and thought provoking article, although I personally think a bit harsh on Lampard.

Not only is the team young, experienced and developing but also the manager - inevitably he will make mistakes as he progresses as will the players.

However was his introduction of Gilmour such a poor move? The players on the pitch had hadn't shown any signs of stemming the 2nd half pressure from the visitors during the previous 40 minutes and certainly not filling me with confidence they could protect the lead until the final whistle.

Blaming the introduction of a young 18 year old may seem a legitimate target for critisism but a study of the bench shows no other square peg for a square hole available and further examination shows no other specialist midfielder available in the squad either.

I think it was obvious that fresh legs were needed to help hold out those final few minutes so could Lampard have done any thing else? Christensen maybe but bringing on a CD into a midfield with only one other specialist CM would have also bought critisism if it had gone wrong.

We could have kept more experienced players like Drinkwater and Bakayoko at the club but they were deemed, by the club and majority of the fans (myself included), to be not good enough and surplus to requirements, so we can't be be suprised we're so light in CM.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and personally I think Frank is between a rock and a hard place here!

posted on 5/9/19

In regards to the players, the good for me so far have been Mount and Emerson. Mount's seamless start to PL football is the kind all academy advocates envisage, when youth players are awarded their first starts; yet, realistically they don't always hit the ground running (e.g. RLC). Emerson already looks to have shown some real improvements since last season, in terms of adding more aggression to how he plays on and off the ball. It will be interesting to see where his ceiling is at by the end of the season, as that will determine who we look to replace Alonso with.

Abraham would be considered up there if he continues his form. Refreshing to see a striker of ours carry the attack like he did last game.

The bad, which will have to be taken with a pinch of salt, but Azpi, who I think is far from finished, just in desperate need of a break and potentially a new role in the team (positional awareness and lack of pace always been a problem for him at RB in an attacking setup). Zouma overall hasn't played that badly, but I think the weight of his criticism comes from the persisting weaknesses to his game (inability on the ball and delayed reading of the game) which will get exposed playing at a higher-level, or in a ball-playing side like we're creating.

Christensen hasn't played badly, but I'm still waiting for him to show more. He has the talent, but plays far too safe.

posted on 5/9/19

(with hindsight perhaps could have done that against Sheffield United, instead of Willian).
hold on, willian played DM against sheffield utd? when?

posted on 5/9/19

It also can't be understated how much we miss hazard too when the game gets stretched. The way he could slow down the game and take pressure away from the team was vital for us.

posted on 5/9/19

For Frank, I think the promising sides of his management so far are how quickly he has established the high-press and an identity in the team (even if the identity is in it’s early stages as an end to end one). Following on from Sarri will have helped, still, it is something he managed to achieve at Derby as well.

Regarding the Billy Gilmour sub, I thought Christensen would have been a better option, but, like Brummie said, I think most of our fans have criticised previous managers for playing an experienced player out of position instead of using a youth option as a like-for-like sub. We finally got what we thought we preferred, yet many thought it was a bad call.

I’m not too concerned about us defensively at the moment. It will be if we don’t show any signs of improvement, but my only other nagging issue with Lampard at the moment is his lack of game management. In preseason, he talked about being flexible and we tried out a few different formations, yet he seems largely stuck to the 4-2-3-1 even when we lose control of the game and could do with the solidarity a 4-3-3 brings in midfield.

posted on 5/9/19

comment by Nickasaurus (U9257)
posted 57 minutes ago
It also can't be understated how much we miss hazard too when the game gets stretched. The way he could slow down the game and take pressure away from the team was vital for us.
Definitely. Could pick the ball up anywhere on the pitch and was guaranteed to make something of it.

comment by (U22236)

posted on 5/9/19

Overall I think the start has been bad results-wise but has shown progress in terms of the way the team plays. Defensively the team needs to improve and we're way too soft when under pressure. But Lampard should get more time before forming any judgements either way.

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