Frank Lampard’s second season in charge of Chelsea started with a lot of excitement. The first was a good one considering the circumstances. The club was under a transfer ban and they had lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Lampard was himself was inexperienced given that he had only been in management for a year with Derby.
However, things turned out to be fine for the club. They finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. Not only this Lampard promoted many young players into the first team as well. Tammy Abraham, Recce James, Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour, etc. were given their debuts. The players from Chelsea’s loan academy did not disappoint.
For Lampard’s second season, Chelsea wanted to make up for the transfer ban. The Blues signed seven players in the summer of 2020. Most of the clubs were struggling financially due to the pandemic but Chelsea managed to spend big. The signing of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech was confirmed before the start of the 2019/20 season itself.
This was followed by the arrival of Thiago Silva from PSG on a free transfer. Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz joined the Blues for big money. Malang Sarr joined from Nice on a free transfer but he was loaned out to Porto for the season. Edu Mendy came in from Rennes to provide competition for underperforming Kepa Arrizabalaga. However, there was one problem with this spending for the Premier League giants.
Frank Lampard’s trouble at Chelsea
In recent seasons, Chelsea has often been able to sell players to match the cash books. But this summer they were not able to do that. The likes of Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Oliver Giroud, Antonio Rudiger, Fikayo Tomori did not leave the club. This meant that now Frank Lampard had a big choice and he had a lot of choices.
With so many players to choose from it became difficult for Lampard to pick a starting eleven. The former Derby manager also had to also make sure that he manages to get the best out of all the players. In the process, it was bound to happen that some players would not be happy, as they won’t get a lot of playing time.
Antonio Rudiger hardly played any games in Lampard’s second season and Fikayo Tomori was virtually non-existent for him. Marcos Alonso was preferred initially as Chilwell was injured. But after his horror show in a 3-3 draw against West Brom, he was also non-existent for Lampard. Jorginho also struggled for game time as Kante was picked ahead of him in the defensive midfield role.
Callum Hudson-Odoi rarely started any game and was used more of an impact substitute. With Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham failing to score goals, Oliver Giroud only got his chance then. France manager Didier Deschamps also asked Lampard to give some game time to the Frenchman. Recce James was picked ahead of club captain Cesear Azpilicuetta.
How Tuchel can take advantage of this?
Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, we have seen that he has used a 3-4-3 formation. The likes of Jorginho, Kovacic, Rudiger, Azpilicuetta, and Alonso have been restored to the first team now. It also looks like Tuchel is determined to make Callum Hudson Odoi a top star. In his three games in charge of Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi has started all three of them.
The team now looks more fresh and sharp. Tuchel wants his team to press higher up the pitch and attack with intensity and speed. However, considering how the previous season was, it looks difficult as the players haven’t had a proper pre-season and rest. The inclusion of the likes of Alonso, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi, etc. is crucial for Chelsea’s season to be a success.
These players are now more fresh and ready to go, while fatigue will start to kick in other teams. Alonso has played only 405 minutes, Rudiger 1,012 minutes, Giroud 702 minutes, etc. Not only this the likes of Hakim Zieych and Christian Pulisic have played fewer games due to injuries. These players can inject more freshness into the first team.
With this, Tuchel can achieve a top-four finish and potentially a good run in the Champions League as well. The Blues are doing very well in the FA Cup as well and it is a trophy that must be in their sights. Other workaholic players like Timo Werner and Mason Mount will also get some rest. While for Lampard this was a problem but it is an advantage now for Tuchel.