Chelsea’s just-concluded season is considered to be a success for many reasons despite the fact that it didn’t deliver any trophy.
For a while, particularly under Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich’s ownership, managers are hardly given time to implement philosophies or patterns of play before they are fired, with André Villas-Boas a good example.
Abramovich’s desire for instant success in recent years has seen him grow impatient with managers who failed to deliver results and in the end relieve them of their duties regardless of how much the compensation would cost. That shows how much the billionaire wants to win.
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For a while, there were strong reports that the Russian wanted to sell the Club, due to the fact that he wasn’t present at Chelsea games in the UK as he is known for, with reports also stating that he was unhappy with the English government, but it seems those rumours have disappeared given Chelsea’s involvement in the transfer window, as it suggests the Russian has heavily involved his finances to back Frank Lampard in acquiring his transfer targets.
Although Marina Granovskaia who previously worked for the Russian as his personal assistant at his oil company has been running the Club in the absence of Roman Abramovich and she’s been commendable in dealings such as; Nike deal which would see the sporting outfit owners pay Chelsea a reported €66 million yearly until 2032 amidst other deals like player loans and transfers.
Frank Lampard’s appointment back in July 2019 was received with mixed emotions at the bridge. Maurizio Sarri had left his job at Chelsea to accept the vacant managerial post at Juventus. There were few high profile managers at that point and only a few wanted to take the job at Chelsea because of the transfer ban that was slapped at one the Club.
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Chelsea could only then turn to Club legend who had just led Derby County to a Championship play-off final which they lost. Frank Lampard’s appointment brought little optimism around SW 6 for mounting any major title challenge or even a European qualification spot, given that he only had a season of managerial experience under his belt and wasn’t going to be having star man, Eden Hazard with him as the Belgian already completed his switch to Real Madrid.
Frank Lampard had to majorly make use of academy graduates like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James for large parts of the season. Something that was uncommon at Chelsea and had seen the Club come under scrutiny for failing to make use of their products which in turn saw the youngsters go somewhere else.
Lampard could have been a bit calm knowing that the hierarchy was going to be lenient with him given the circumstances in which he took the job and his status as a Club legend, but he certainly knew how difficult the job was going to be and throughout the season the Englishman showed a brilliant work ethic much to the delight of the Club board and Fans.
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Analysing Lampard’s first season at the helm; it is well obvious how much faith he showed in his youngsters and how the lads didn’t let him down. This is something that Chelsea haven’t had in a long time. John Terry was the last biggest export from the academy prior to this season, while other talents were being loaned out, being sold or released with managers not welcoming the idea of playing them in their side.
In their defence, it would be stated that Roman Abramovich demanded success from them every season, and that could only be achieved by spending heavily on established players rather than waiting to groom academy players into world-class players.
Patience is something Chelsea have lacked in recent years, but Lampard has been afforded that luxury and rightfully so. The circumstances have played itself into Lampard’s favour as his man-management and top-four finish has endeared him further to the fans.
The patience afforded to Lampard can help him work with much more ease which might see him build an era at Chelsea. Building an era at the Club is what majority of the fans are looking to see, despite Chelsea’s consistent success, instability in terms of management has been consistent too and this is another reason why the blues might be looking to see the blues succeed under the guidance of one man, and if not their all-time leading goal scorer then who?
Earlier in the week, Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck was full of praise for Lampard, rightly acknowledging his work ethics and his achievement. This shows how pleased the board are with Lampard and his achievements. After Chelsea’s 2-0 home win against Wolves which sealed their champions league spot for next season, Lampard during the post-match interview was delighted but pointed to the fact that Chelsea FC are capable of bigger things and shouldn’t get too comfortable with a 4th place finish.
After the hammering of the side in Munich last weekend, The Manager also highlighted how the matches against German giants, Bayern Munich served as a lesson for his young side and how that his side would be back amongst the big sides. These statements made by Lampard shows how much passion and desire he has to win and see Chelsea back where they belong.
Only few would argue against Lampard’s season being a success and the stats speak for it. Things are looking bright for Chelsea FC, the transfer strategy former managers complained about looks to have been fixed with Technical advisor, Petr Cech and Chief executive, Marina Granovskaia working closely with Frank Lampard in terms of recruitment. New signings, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech pointed at Lampard being a major factor they signed for the Club suggesting the kind of pull power the Manager possesses.
In the past, former managers looked to lack man-management skills such as when Antonio Conte had a fall out with Diego Costa, and Gary Cahill’s statement on Maurizio Sarri’s treatment of players being another example. In parts of the season, Lampard was criticised for his decisions over Pulisic and Giroud by dropping them to the bench, but in the end, it turned out to be a great one as both players’ performances helped Chelsea secure their Champions League berth for next season.
Going forward, Lampard is tipped to take Chelsea to the summit of English and European Football. It seems the gaffer would be afforded time to build his team just like Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. Chelsea have been linked with several prospects around Europe, with youngsters looking to work with Frank Lampard with new acquisitions admiring the project at Chelsea, and it seems Chelsea are only after young proven players so as to build a team that could dominate for a long time.
Academy graduates are looking to extend contracts with Chelsea with the acknowledgement they could be given a chance, something they couldn’t dream of before Frank Lampard’s appointment. After several years of success with more of a counter-attacking style of football, Chelsea fanbase and board clamoured for a more exciting style of play which saw them appoint Maurizio Sarri.
Lampard in his first season delivered scintillating football much to the delight of Chelsea fans, and it looks more likely Lampard would identify with the style going forward as his acquisitions suit his preferred style of play.
For all Chelsea fans, they can now hope to be successful for many years going forward, and it would be with the right groom of players and the right brand of football. Frank Lampard is looking like the man to take the club to the promised land.