Chelsea’s remarkable start to the new season is one that has generated great reviews from many pundits. By the London club’s standard in the Roman Abramovich era, it might not be one of their best starts.
However considering the limitations of losing their best player (Eden Hazard), transfer ban and a great level of inexperience throughout out the team; it is a feat most football followers didn’t predict them to achieve.
A large chunk of the kudos must go to the men at the helm of affairs – the duo of Frank Lampard and Jody Morris seem to know how to motivate young players.
The Blue’s current position in the table is not the only positive. The side’s ability to get results while playing an exquisite and free flowing football is clearly the answer Abramovich’s long standing thirst for a front foot party style of football.
Statistics show that the presumed brilliant start to the season could be as a result of lowered expectations at the bridge. Sarri avoided defeat in his first 12 premier league games and was just 5 points behind league leaders Manchester city.
However the Frank’s season look to be “more successful” despite two losses and a larger point gap behind league leaders after the same number of games.
The lowered expectations has not only given the manager the chance to try new things, it has also encouraged the players to express themselves more and be less cautious; averaging 2.25 goals every 90 minutes in the league thus far.
Chelsea’s appointment of Lampard – a coach with only one year worth of experience with Derby county where he finished 6th in the Championship and lost the playoff final – could be assumed to be a sentimental decision or one they were left with no choice given the impending ban
The manager however is defying all odds. No doubt, his predecessor’s style of conserving possession and building from the back has helped him to inculcate his style in the players very fast. Jorginho is still being deployed in a deep midfield role and he’s almost as important to the team’s build up play as under Sarriball; missing just one game as a result of suspension.
Lampard’s ability to put faith in youth is his most valuable asset to this current Chelsea squad. Mount, Tomori, Pulisic, Abraham are all big beneficiaries of his “give-the-youth-a-chance” programme at Chelsea.
The importance of loyal leaders in a team’s set up can never be over emphasized. One big difference (yet easily overlooked) between this current blues team and the ones after Terry, Lampard and Drogba is the presence of leaders who are ready to play for the badge and have positive effects on the younger lads.
Azpilicueta has been one of the top performers at the club in the last five years. His sacrifices – even when playing outside his preferred right back position – has made him to be regarded by some fans as “Mr. Chelsea”.
Despite facing criticisms last year, Jorginho’s desire to stay put to the club to impress the fans is one that should be applauded. His vocality, ability to pass the coach’s ideas to the players and lead on the pitch is very important; especially to a relatively young eleven.
It has hard to state if this Chelsea’s form is sustainable. The club has a habit of starting their seasons on a flyer. However, so far, it has been nothing short of remarkable. The 1-0 win vs. Ajax was impressive and coming back from 4-1 down at a point in the return leg to draw 4-4 seemed more like a miracle. If these kind of displays can be sustained, then by the end of the season, this Lampard tutored side will have performed an actual miracle!
Written by: Osasere Okunloye