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Abraham Keen To Learn From England Striker

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has revealed that he is keen to learn from Tottenham Hotspur and England star Harry Kane. Abraham and Kane were selected as teammates for England’s most recent squad. Both players went on to find the back of the net during their country’s 7-0 mauling of Montenegro last Thursday. Kane netted a hattrick while Abraham managed to bag his first national team goal during the 84th minute.

Frank Lampard Has Proven To Be An Apt Manager

Let’s face it, most people thought that Frank Lampard would not succeed as manager of Chelsea when he was appointed to lead the club last summer. Those who doubted the club legend were justified in doing so. He, after all, had to navigate the club through a very difficult period amidst the two window transfer ban and inability to bring in a direct replacement for Eden Hazard, who almost single-handedly guided the club to a top four finish last season.

Looking Backwards to Go Forwards

Taking away the blue-tinted glasses and the benefit of hindsight, let’s image that—in the height of the summer—I had been asked what the gist of the articles would be come early November. I would be lying if I would have said with anything approaching certainty that they would be positive, never mind glowing. On the back of the sale of Chelsea’s best player and the transfer ban (even though they hardly came as a surprise), combined with the appointment of a very wet-behind-the-ears manager, the future was not necessarily looking rosy.

Chelsea’s 2019/20 Season So Far

The 2018/19 season was a tough year for Chelsea that was best written off as “character building”. It started off well, with Chelsea winning their first five games and not losing a match until they played Tottenham Hotspur away on 24th November. This 3-1 defeat was the first of 8 losses in the Premier League, but this was still fewer than all but two teams in the league. Finishing third overall in the Premier League, and therefore securing a place in the Champions League, was a good consolation.

Reaching the EFL Cup final was another high of the season, with many thinking that Chelsea could go all the way, only to be bitterly disappointed when they were beaten 3-4 in a penalty shootout against Manchester City. A second UEFA Europa League win, beating London rivals Arsenal, was one of the highlights of the year—one that Chelsea hoped to build on for 2019/20.

Frank Lampard

Photo by @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) London, CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the biggest changes over the summer break was that former Chelsea player, Frank Lampard, was appointed as the team’s manager. Lampard spent 13 years of his career playing for Chelsea between 2001 and 2014, and had been managing Derby County since 2018. This didn’t get off to a great start, though; the team’s first competitive game ended in a 4-0 loss to Manchester United, the biggest first-game defeat for a Chelsea Manager since 1978.

Lampard’s second game also ended in a loss in the UEFA Super Cup, drawing 2-2 against Liverpool and then losing 5-4 in a penalty shootout. It wasn’t until 24th August, when Chelsea played Norwich City away, that Lampard led the team to their first victory together. It was then a whole month before they secured their first home win, this time in an EFL Cup game against Grimsby Town, a League Two side.

Finding Their Feet

Despite a less-than-perfect start to the season, Chelsea have begun to show progress. Their attacking has improved significantly and, despite defeat, they looked impressive against Liverpool, who under Jurgen Klopp, are one of the most formidable attacking teams in the Premier League right now.

Chelsea are where (or thereabouts) they were likely to be at this point in the season. There is still a lot that can change; but looking at their performance so far, fans looking to place wagers on Chelsea, using bookmakers like Oddschecker, will likely want to look at factors like the abnormally-high number of goals they have conceded so far this season.

Performance in September has been an improvement on earlier in the season. The latest match against Liverpool saw Chelsea lose again, but the 2-1 defeat was a show of force by the blues. Their attacking form is on the up, and the changes Frank Lampard has been making are beginning to bring a return.

The initial poor performance in the Champions League can still be turned around, but the odds are stacked against them, and with Ajax and Valencia in their group, this won’t be a simple task.

Outlook

A new manager starting with poor performances is not uncommon and does not always point to inherent problems that will remain for their tenure. Instead, it is often a sign that the new manager is making changes to the structure and style of the team that will take a few games to bed in. This certainly seems to be the case with Frank Lampard at Chelsea. The catastrophic opening day loss to Manchester United is far behind them now, and the team is on the up.

Whilst no one expects Chelsea to be able to take on the dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City this year, a 2019/20 season packed with solid performances will be a way for Lampard to lay down some solid foundations for a title-challenging campaign in a few years. Sitting 5th at this stage of the season, with a new manager that has a long history at the club and improving performance, is a position many teams would love to find themselves in.

Header Photo by Vespa125125CFC, CC BY-SA 3.0

Three Left-Backs That Chelsea Should Look At

Chelsea are currently doing well. However, they will need to offload and bring in new players next summer if they want to become a side which is worthy of challenging for the League title next season. One area of the Blues first-team which needs reinforcement if the left-back position. Both Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta do not look like they can help the club to win titles.

Back-Up Goalkeepers Chelsea Can Look At

Willy Caballero will almost certainly be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season. Kepa Arrizabalaga looks set to remain as Blues first-choice keeper for the foreseeable future but Frank Lampard’s side will likely have to look into bringing in a new shot-stopper to provide cover for their goalkeeping position. The following are some players whom they can consider.

Chris Sutton Makes Controversial Statement About Christian Pulisic

Popular football analyst Chris Sutton has indicated that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard would not have signed Christian Pulisic had be been managing the club in January. The American joined the Blues during the January transfer window for  £58 million from Borussia Dortmund. He was immediately loaned back to the Bundesliga outfit for the second half of last season before being integrated into the Chelsea first-team permanently during the summer.

Chelsea Captain Offers Advice to Out-of-Favour Pulisic

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has advised his team-mate Christian Pulisic to remain positive. The American arrived at Stamford Bridge during the summer from Borussia Dortmund and has had a less than ideal start to life with the West London club. Pulisic has so far played four times in the Premier League for the Blues and has only notched one assist. He has so far been unable to adapt to the Premier League. It is still early though and as was seen by his spell in Germany, the 21-year-old has plenty of potential so it would be dangerous to write him off immediately.

Mourinho On Whether Lampard Can Succeed as Manager

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes that Frank Lampard has what it takes to succeed as Blues manager this season. The 41-year-old Lampard was surprisingly appointed as the West London club’s manager during the summer after Maurizio Sarri opted to resign and take on the role of Juventus manager. Some such as myself felt that it would have been better for the Blues to go with a more experienced candidate such as Rafa Benitez who has a proven track record of working well with limited resources as the Blues have had to do so far this season due to their two window transfer ban.

Tammy Abraham a Rare Highlight for Chelsea

With Matchday 4 of the Premier League season done and dusted, the Blues do not look like they are capable of challenging for a top four finish this season. They have only won won game under Frank Lampard thus far, and that came against newly promoted Norwich City. With all due respect to the Canaries, one would expect a team which wants to challenge for a top four finish to comprehensively defeat them.