The appointment of Frank Lampard shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s destined to happen, maybe too early but it’s bound to come to reality and we all have to accept this and embrace our own man.

On 2nd of February 2017, Frank Lampard announced his retirement from football after a glittering long playing career that lasted for an incredible 22 years.

After refusing numerous offers to continue playing; Lampard said he would look to obtain his coaching badge and yes he came back to Chelsea in 2017, spent some time in Cobham with the Chelsea youth team; {then managed by Jody Morris}.

So quick for Frank Lampard, in 2018 he received an offer to be the manager of Derby County after he had rejected an offer to manage Swansea. He proceeded by bringing Jody Morris and Chris Jones; Chelsea youth coaches to join him at the club. There was a reason Chelsea could afford to lose two important youth coaches. Isn’t it ?

Derby County job came with huge pressure to fill in the standard earlier set by the club. Frank Lampard did incredibly well in his first season of management, whilst he brought in youngsters Harry Wilson from Liverpool, Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount from Chelsea. The three guys that were crucial for him and he received the deserved praises for their development anyway. After the end of the 2018/2019 season, Derby County ended as a runner up in the Premier League playoff, losing to Aston Villa at Wembley.

Moreover, It was meant to be a continuous work for Frank Lampard but the opportunity to manage Chelsea came too early for him; earlier than planned Or expected ? But it wasn’t a surprise considering how Chelsea allowed Jody Morris and Chris Jones to join Frank Lampard at Derby County along with two youngsters Fikayo Tomori and Mount Mason.

After Maurizio Sarri left his post as a Chelsea manager it was clear enough Frank Lampard was the favourite to take up the post, either a reason been that Chelsea only wanted him or lack of suitors to take up the job with transfer ban or perhaps he was the best man for the job to take ChelseaFC to another level.

On 4th of July 2019, a long awaited news hit the headlines as Super Frank was appointed as the Chelsea manager on a 3-years deal.

Despite so many questions raised on his appointment due to lack of vast experience and pressure that comes with being a Chelsea manager, Frank insist and assured of his readiness to take on the job and lead Chelsea on all front.

He has worked with so many great managers in his time as a player where he would have gotten a lot from them. But he said in his press conference he hasn’t called any manager since his first appointment as a manager and he is not planning to. Though his experience with Chelsea while playing under various managers, world class manager is a very good thing for him and it would be nice to see how he applies what he has learnt as a player.

It is no secret he is going to integrate into the first team some youth products and it’s like the best time for this to happen with the home coming of Jody Morris and Chris Jones as one of his back room staff and also the promotion of Eddie Newton and Joe Edward to the first team and also Hillario.

Frank Lampard as the head coach!
Jody Morris assistance head coach!
Joe Edward as first team coach!
Eddie Newton as first team coach!
Hilario as the Goalkeeping coach!

On bringing together the Chelsea legend, Chelsea earlier appointed Peter Cech as the club advisor and director of football and yes Claude Makalele just last week.

Moreover, with the transfer ban in place, the manager still has a lot of players to work with despite losing the club best player over the summer.

Just last season, Reece James {Right Back} who Chelsea loaned to Wigan had a successful spell by winning the player of the season for his performance with the championship side.

Fikaya Tomori and Mason Mount also did so well with Derby County under Frank Lampard with Fikayo Tomori winning the club best player of the season.

Kurt Zouma proved again his worth with Everton last season which prompted a call to France National Team.

Tammy Abraham also had an amazing outing too, arguably one of the best player in the Championship last season.

The arrival of Pulisic and permanent signing of Kovacic is a genuine boost to the team as well. It’s definitely going to be an exciting season for the Chelsea youngster and for the blues supporters.

Frank Lampard Philosophy In Comparison With Maurizio Sarri

The most exciting part is that the appointment of Frank Lampard doesn’t shift the team totally from the direction we were taking and it will be a continuous project for the team and hopefully be an upgrade on last season. And now i will take a look at Frank Lampard tactical approaches and how it’s similar to that of Sarri, which will of course aid adaptation of our players to his own style of playing.

DEFENSIVE ORGANISATION.

Lampard defensive organisation is very close to the one Chelsea used throughout last season under Maurizio Sarri. Just like Sarri, Lampard also played with a very high defensive line and their shape is 4-5-1 without possession. A diamond 5-midfield set up with the two wing Forwards dropping to give support to the 3-man midfield, with the main motive of obstructing opponents passes laid from the defence to midfield. Though Lampard’s Derby faced some challenges in terms of playing defenders very high up the pitch, same problem Chelsea had in preseason and beginning of the season under Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri love to defend as a very close unit with a maximum of 15-20 metres between the Defensive zone to Midfield zone. Though, Lampard’s Derby do lose metres but it’s understandable that was down to the inexperience players available to execute that anyway and defending high up the pitch will require players who can do well by reading the game, cautious of metres and are very pacy and not tired legs. Playing high up the pitch gives you edge in attacking 3rd as there will be overload in opposition defense and it is the exact reason why we need very good defenders who can read the game well and are very pacy enough to keep with any metres lost. Lampard will of course not face much of a trial like it was in Derby County as Sarri teachings on that will be crucial while executing the ideas with the same crop of players.

BUILD-UP PLAYS

Just like Sarri, Lampard also love to build his play from the back, though he love to make use of the target man when he comes against quality opponents pressing high. Oliver Giroud is an excellent target man with a great touch of the ball, winning the first ball then finding a player running behind defence in one of our pacy wingers after holding one of the CBs and leaving spaces to exploit.

Unlike Sarri, Lampard is very flexible when it comes to the build up plays. He wants his team to build up from the back but he is ready to go more direct or make a twist when he comes against a quality team or a team pressing really high; a very perfect example was his approach against Manchester United and Chelsea in Carabao Cup last season.

One of the problem Sarri had at Chelsea last season was his build up plays, Predictable and Rigid, Rudiger and Luiz find it difficult to link up well with Jorginho some times and will end up with Luiz playing long ball or Kepa locating a target man. Fans got frustrated at times and that’s because of Chelsea difficulty in making use of the Full-Backs to build up plays and Sarri rigidity to use Jorginho as his orchestra.

HIGH PRESS

Just like Sarri, Frank Lampard love his team to press really high and win back possession of the ball as quickly as possible. Though, many of the team players ain’t a presser of the ball but the tactical battles of Arsenal and Chelsea in the last season Europa League Final is a testament as to why Chelsea team is very close to perfection in executing that and hopefully Frank Lampard can build on that.

OFFENSE AND USE OF WIDE SPACES.

Chelsea biggest issues last season was bad usage of wide spaces. In England it is always difficult to break down defences by finding passes between the lines because the English clubs defensive organisation is always compact and the use of wide spaces are options you can rely on often. Chelsea team struggled with this last season due to Sarri rigidity in his tactics and again due to ups and down of our wingers as we majorly rely on Eden Hazard brilliance to break through most times.

Though, Fortunately for Lampard, Pulisic, Pedro and Hudson Odoi are very good crossers of the ball and are also decent in cut edges crosses/square play. This is the aspect we will make use well of our goal poachers in Tammy Abraham or Michy Batsuayi who are always good in winning the last ball. Frank Lampard love to play his wingers high up along with his Full-Backs, with a running midfielder who can make the run into the box; Mason, Barkley and Loftus Cheek will definitely fit in well here, especially Loftus Cheek who is good with his dribbling skills and his physical strength to beat down opposition and break defenses. Though our coaching crew needs to improve our Full Backs as they will be crucial; Emerson and Alonso have to up their games as i expect some rest for Azpilicueta so as to see young sensation Reece James grow after his injury.

COUNTER ATTACKING PLAY

Frank Lampard is somewhat different from Sarri in this aspect. His Derby’s team scored the joint most counter attacking goals (5) last season in the Championship; Harry Wilson, Scott Malone, Mason Mount and Jack Marriott are always well organised in bringing up a productive counter attacking play. He often goes with a 4-3-3 shape blending to a modern 4-2-3-1 and wouldn’t mind to play a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 when needed depending on the opposition. His tactical flexibility is no doubt his biggest strength.

Though the coach will have loads of options to pick from unlike what’s available for him at Derby County last term; With David Luiz joining Arsenal on Deadline day, we are definitely still not in danger, we’ve got Kurt Zouma, Andres Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori fighting for two spots.

While we have Mason Mount, Loftus Cheek and Ross Barkley all fighting for the attacking midfield role, going to be a hard fought role for them no doubt. Another headache for Chelsea coaching crew is the striking role with Frank yet to decide who to lead the attack between Batsuayi, Tammy or Giroud. Getting the best in these three exciting positions is going to be vital for us going to the new season.

In preseason so far Frank Lampard has given a clue on his preferred formation which is 4-2-3-1 and he also made use of 4-3-3 with 4-4-2. It will be very interesting how he gets to fix in players to suite the formation and his pattern of play. So I’m trying to look into some of the possible formation and lineups for the upcoming season.

With this 4-2-3-1 formation Chelsea can create a lot of chances, good team play with the right technique, this could be his best formation with the players available to press high, win back possession and less individual play. Kante would be perfect to cover up for our overlaps Full-Backs and would be a shield for Jorginho in the pivot midfield, the high press of Pedro and Pulisic will be very important in this line up, Giroud with his excellent target man role will give space for Ross Barkley to roam and shoot from anywhere while our touchline players moving high up the pitch.

Another Formation that i feel should be considered has to be a Fluid 4-3-3.

This setup will be very crucial against very strong opponent with stable midfield and highly based possession or fast attacking. Our back line do not need to move too forward in this case as the team might perfectly wants to play a lot of counter attacking football. Our midfield should be good enough to withstand any threat and yes be able to deliver some key passes at the right time for our pacy flank players, there will also be need to have a more pacy and flexible in Tammy Abraham to aid this tactics.

A unique alternative to 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 is a 4-1-2-1-2 formation and it will be interesting to see how Chelsea switches play this season.

During the Pre-Season warm up, the 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and 4-1-2-1-2 are all tested, though it seems like the 4-2-3-1 will be more favoured by Frank Lampard depending on the opponent anyway.

The first major test for Lampard will be the league opener at Old Trafford on 11th of August against Manchester United, who wins ? Ole or Frank ?

Personally, i am very convinced about Frank Lampard been a success at Chelsea and hopefully the Chelsea faithful are ready to give him the maximum support needed to succeed at this great club. Without an iota of doubt, Lampard and his crew will give loads of opportunities for the youth players and as well Unite the Fans, Board and the Players. I wish him the best of luck and i hope he takes ChelseaFC to a New Level in the main motive of building a long term project with the right legacy.

Blue Is The Colour 💙 KTBFFH Adeyemi Babatunde a.k.a VIPER 🇳🇬