After spending £222 million in the summer on reinforcements, Chelsea were always going to be branded title favourites. Add in Manchester City’s poor form and Liverpool’s injury crisis, and, it must be said, the pressure should be on Chelsea and Frank Lampard to secure the Premier League title.
The fact is, their squad depth, formed by breaking the bank in the summer, should see them clear at the top- especially in a season of struggle for many. They tick the box for having a prolific goalscorer at their disposal in Timo Werner, an experienced defender in Thiago Silva, and a squad depth worthy of champions.
Yet, 12 games in, and Frank Lampard’s side are four points worse off than last season at this stage. They possess all of the tools to build a sustainable title challenge, but the workman’s lack of experience has proven costly this season.
Pressure Right to Be on Frank Lampard and Chelsea to Mount Title Charge
Lampard Struggling to Find Balance
With the world at his feet, Frank Lampard has struggled in the technical area this season. Lampard was given the freedom of the bank by Roman Abramovic in the summer, but, has failed to repay the transfer fees in the form of results.
As the season goes on, too, the pressure will continue to mount on the Chelsea boss, who is struggling to find the needed balance. The Chelsea boss has failed to exploit the strengths of the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, and it is proving costly- over £100 million, in fact.
The system at Stamford Bridge is simply not designed for Werner and Havertz at this moment in time- forcing the two to play out of position. Instead of playing in his usual striking role, Werner is often utilised on the wing.
Kai Havertz, too, is used out of position- playing in the number eight role in midfield instead of a second striker or number 10 role. It is no wonder the German has failed to have the expected creative impact at Stamford Bridge this season in the number eight role.
By playing him in that deeper role, Lampard is inadvertently placing the shackles of Havertz’s creative genius.
Change of Formation Needed
Following back to back defeats in the Premier League, now is the time for Lampard to prove his tactical worth. Instead of sticking to the 4-3-3 formation, which forces Havertz too deep and Werner out wide, the Chelsea boss must make a tactical switch.
In this switch, a change of roles for the two new signings is needed. Werner must be utilised up top, whether this is alongside another forward or in a lone role. And, Havertz must be given creative freedom as either a second striker or number 10.
It makes no sense to continue with a formation that so clearly fails to get the best out of big-money signings. Results further add credit this point, too. Whenever faced with a challenge, Lampard’s side have capitulated.
This could be a result of Lampard’s lack of managerial experience in big games, or simply the flawed tactics in what is a world-class Chelsea squad that should be capable of winning the Premier League this season.
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