Chelsea Mid Season Review

Initial expectations

Chelsea FC 2019/2020 season was a beginning of a new era under new head coach Frank Lampard, who is a club legend and respected among the staff and hierarchy of the club. Chelsea managed to finish 4th and were FA Cup finalists to a defeat against London rivals Arsenal. Upsetting to lose an FA Cup final, fans would still agree that this was a successful season under Lampard with the club facing a transfer ban so Lampard had to work with the squad and added youth players from the clubs successful academy. Securing the top four was important for the club to qualify for UEFA Champions League football and lucrative revenue. 

To be quite frank, my expectations for Chelsea 2020/2021 were high. Chelsea spent £220 million pounds on key signings, the addition of quality players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and veteran Thiago Silva was a transfer window that every Chelsea fan was excited about. This was a big statement from the club to back head coach Frank Lampard and challenge for the Premier League title. My only issue was whether the players would adapt to high pace and physical league, what way would Frank set up his side and did we have the mentality to challenge champions Liverpool and rivals Manchester City. I was expecting Chelsea to challenge for the title and go far in the UEFA Champions League.

Best performers

The two players that have been outstanding for Chelsea this season for me have been Reece James and Ben Chilwell, Reece breakthrough season was 2019/2020 were he showed quality that he is ready to play for his boyhood club after a successful loan spell at Wigan. England international Ben Chilwell signed in the summer from Leicester City for £50 million pound, some Chelsea fans would say they haven`t replaced club legend Ashley Cole his since depature in 2014. Chelsea had signed Filippe Luis who would say his spell at Chelsea was disappointing and Marcos Alonso would be more recognised as a left wing back. The price tag of the signing of Ben Chilwell raised many eyes brows, however he has settled quickly and obviously has experienced playing in the league with Leicester City. Chilwell home debut at Stanform Bridge against London opponents Crystal Palace were he bagged a goal and assist had Chelsea fans exciting. Liverpool fullbacks Trent Alex- Arnold and Andrew Robertson are arguably the best fullbacks in the country but both Reece James and Ben Chilwell have a shout if they continue their hardwork and consistency. 


 I decided not to pick a new signing because I felt it would be unfair with little time to adapt to a new country, football club and league. Therefore I decided to pick Kepa Arrizabalaga, I know picking Kepa would be an easy target and scapegoat. My decision is based on the fact that Kepa is the world’s most expensive goalkeeper fee of €80 million from Athletic Bilbao from 2018. His form has dipped dramatically last season and pressure was on him to pick up, his display at the beginning of the season against Liverpool and West Brom was enough for Frank Lampard to request the club to sign a new goalkeeper. New arrival Eduardo Mendy has been a breath of fresh air for the side with 7 clean sheets in 15 Premier League appearances. I personally am a fan of Kepa and was excited when we signed him, I would love for him to fight for the number one position at Chelsea, yes the player did not set the price tag but he needs to take responsibility for his performances. 

How have signings performed

My opinion on new additions is mixed, Chelsea we very unlucky to lose Hakim Ziyech in a friendly against Brighton which sidelined him for a couple of weeks. Players like Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have found it difficult to adapt, coming into the best league in the world can require patience. In Timo’s case I feel that him playing wide is not benefitting his development, first few games he showed a little glimpse of what he did at RB Leipzig but his form has declined and his confidence on goal has dropped.
Thiago Silva has been a great addition, his Premier League debut against West Brom was one that he would like to forget. Experienced Thiago has picked himself straight up, his leadership quality and presence alone has impacted the team. Ben Chilwell and Eduardo Mendy have been my two outstanding signings with their contribution to the team.

Ones to watch in the second half of the season

So far Chelsea are struggling currently sitting 9th in the league with 1 win in 5 league games. Many would blame Frank Lampard but the truth is Chelsea players form has dropped. A player who has not been given as many starts as he would like is Callum Hudson- Odoi, every time he has been called upon he has shown quality. I am a big fan of CHO and believe he will play an important part to the second half of the season. Christian Pulisc not being consistent enough with goals or assists may see Callum replace him and solidify his role in the Chelsea side.

Rating the manager

At the beginning of this season I was a bit unsure if Lampard was the right man to take Chelsea to the next level. My reasons why are there were times last season Chelsea played poorly and were tactically dominated by opposition sides. Still today I am convinced Lampard doesn’t know his best starting eleven, this has been proved this season with many changes in the starting line up.
As I mentioned Chelsea have won 1 league game in 5 which was unconvincing away win to Fulham, an embarrassing 3-1 loss league strugglers Arsenal. Another 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City who came to Stamford Bridge with no striker made me question if Lampard tactics. Of course being tactically destroyed by Pep Guardiola is no shame but our style of play is poor, no fluidity or creativeness in the team and playing in the wing and crossing is frustrating to watch.
The current form and performances of the new signings is a growing concern among the hierarchy at the club. I believe if this was any other manager they would have been sacked, my view is that Lampard is a club icon and respected so he is being given time, the question is how much time ? Roman Abramovich would be alert to the club situation and is ruthless when it comes to sacking managers. Overall my opinion is that Chelsea should part ways with Frank Lampard before it jeopardizes our challenge for top four. We should be thankful for Lampard’s managerial services and by adding youth players like Mason Mount, Reece James, Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham, all players that I am sure will play a big role in the future of the club. 


Thanks for Reading!

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