The big £200m question that will hang over Frank Lampard if Chelsea do not start the season well


This summer transfer window has been one of the most active in Chelsea’s history as a club.

While it was expected to see the Blues move for a few players in this window, the rate at which they have recruited world class players from across Europe has left many supporters both excited and surprised by such activity.

On the eve of a brand new Premier League season, predictions of where the Blues might finish come May are probably harder than they have ever been before. The likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell undoubtedly make Chelsea a force to be reckoned with but managing expectations will also be needed during a time of drastic change.

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Frank Lampard spoke about managing both expectation and pressure in his press conference on Thursday afternoon, after such an impressive transfer window. However, the Blues boss remains focussed on hitting the ground running from the off.

He said: “The pressure on me to do better should be standard.

“I don’t want to talk about statements. Last year we were very happy for Champions League places, we were very joined up in the business we wanted to do.

“The work starts now. It’s been a bit of a broken pre-season, but you have to work hard very quickly.”

As with the start of any new campaign, starting the season well often shifts the pressure away from a manager early on. And in the case of Chelsea and Lampard, such a huge influx of players during the off-season means that making a good start is perhaps less likely.

Until play starts, these factors are largely unknown when it comes to personnel, system and possible substitutions. The beginning of a new season often results in unanswered questions until line-ups are announced and Chelsea are the case in point for that when they face Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night.

After a trip to the South Coast in their first game of the season, Chelsea will face Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and Southampton in their following four league matches. Aside from facing the reigning Premier League champions, that offers a good opportunity for the Blues to start the season on the right foot.

Lampard will know all too well that winning on the opening day or remaining unbeaten for a sustained period isn’t the ingredient to perfection. The Blues lost 4-0 on the opening day to Manchester United last season which eventually saw a young Chelsea squad develop into a far more experienced and capable outfit by the end of the season.

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In summary, a good start will be something that Chelsea will be looking to achieve after a summer of mass spending. Expectation on this squad is likely to increase as time goes on and a favourable start to the season slightly complicates matters.

On the one hand, facing fewer top sides should enable Lampard’s players to start the season well and subsequently build momentum. Conversely, dropped points could place even more pressure on a squad that needs some time and patience to gel together properly.

Ultimately, the 2020/21 campaign is due to be full of far different narratives to 2019/20 for Chelsea and Lampard.





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