Chelsea have failed to register a win in their last three fixtures, putting their top four and Champions League knockout rounds qualification at stake.
Frank Lampard’s reign at Chelsea has been nothing short of spectacular. Thrust at the deep end after a year at Derby, expectations were not high at the Stamford Bridge. However, the England legend led his side to an entertaining run of six away wins, which only came to an end against Manchester City.
Since then, the Blues have struggled to impress and were consigned to a spirited defeat at the hands of West Ham at the Stamford Bridge. The loss to the Premier League strugglers revealed glaring issues with the Chelsea strategy and squad make up.
Just like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had at Manchester United before embarking on a run of inconsistent results, it seems Lampard’s honeymoon period has come to an end.
Unlike the Red Devils manager, Lampard has employed an energetic approach to the game. His players hound the ball and ensure they are always on the ball. There traits were on show as they bossed possession against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
With all the highlights and improvements, Lampard’s Blues still seem far from an established side and genuine top-four contenders leave alone title challengers.
Chelsea in dire need of reinforcements
While they have racked in goals thanks to the exploits of Tammy Abraham and Co., they squad’s makeup is lopsided.
Abraham has had a great start to life in the first team with his goal scoring exploits. But his fellow forwards, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi only have a single goal Premier League between them.
In Pulisic, Pedro and Willian, they have three right sided attacking players. While on the other flank they only have Callum Hudson-Odoi as a genuine left side player. Pulisic has been deployed on the left in Odoi’s absence while Willian has been tasked to shore up the right side.
It is only in midfield that they are well stacked, while their defense needs reinforcements. Alonso has struggled since last year, and Azpilicueta has begun to show signs of age. Moreover, injuries to Antonio Rudiger has not helped their cause.
Lampard has shown little reluctance to take the pedal off in his time at Derby and Chelsea. His gung-ho style is taxing on players, and the Blues need reinforcements which they cannot have.
However, in contrast to Solskjaer, the fans will be happy they have a more technically gifted manager sitting on their bench.
Chelsea still have a six point advantage over fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur, with whom they lock horns before Christmas. In between, they will have four games to solidify their position and ensure Champions League knockout rounds qualification.