Frank Lampard is guilty… there is no case for the Chelsea defence

The comeback was commendable, the spirit unquestionable but Frank Lampard will not be fooled.

When Roman Abramovich shells out over £200million on new players in one window, he surely expects an outfit with a an all-round game to challenge at the top of the Premier League.

Going three down to West Brom inside half an hour should tell Lampard that chronic defensive vulnerability will still undermine his efforts to create a winning machine.

The response was excellent, second half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham earning them a point that was thoroughly deserved.

And the irony was quite sweet for the scorers – all that dough gets spent and it is a few of your own who spare you some of the most serious blushes of your managerial career.

Frank Lampard endured a torrid night at West Brom

The worry that has been doing the rounds in Chelsea-supporting circles is that the influx of signings will once again limit the opportunities for young players who have come through the ranks.

Not on this evidence, it will not.

The bigger worry should be that what went on in the first half of this game was symptomatic of what will threaten to undermine Chelsea’s campaign.

And the common consensus is that this is the campaign when Lampard the manager will be properly judged.

With the cash spent comes the expectations and Abramovich will not be expecting setbacks such as this, even taking the excellent fightback into account.

See also  Manchester United set price for Alexis Sanchez with no chance of Old Trafford return

Of course, after just three Premier League fixtures, Lampard is not under any sort of pressure. It would be ludicrous to suggest so.

But if this sort of defensive ineptitude becomes a theme that runs for a concerted amount of time, Lampard will eventually feel the heat.

And the sooner he cures one basic but critical failing, the better.

Thiago Silva struggled throughout

As a manager, Lampard finds it hard to come up with a team and an approach that makes it fiendishly hard for the opposition to score.

West Brom were cunning and clinical on the counter-attack but all three first half goals had their seeds in Chelsea’s shortcomings.

Kepa’s demotion was inevitable and his goalkeeping future lies elsewhere but whoever wears Chelsea gloves will not be helped by the defensive system in front of him.

Whatever plaudits you cared to give Lampard for his first season as a Premier League manager, acclaim for his goal-stopping nous was not one of them.

You had to go down to 11th place to find a team that conceded more than Chelsea last season and even Crystal Palace, who finished 14th, let in fewer.

That was not all Kepa’s or any other individual’s fault – Lampard has to take his share of the blame.

To be fair to Frank, not having Ben Chilwell fit for Premier League action – even though he had half an hour in the Carabao Cup in midweek – is unfortunate.

For some time, Marcos Alonso, honourable servant though he is, has been carrying a mistake around with him.

Chelsea have been incredibly active in the summer transfer window, so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up to the brilliant Mirror Football newsletter!

See also  Man City transfer news: Phil Foden, Frenkie de Jong, Bernardo Silva

Frank Lampard’s team have made wavs by signing Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva.

And they don’t seem keen on slowing down yet. one player who continues to be linked with the Blues is West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice.

Every time Chelsea make a splash, you’ll get an update in your inbox. From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all.

How do you sign up? It’s simple. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

The one here was a header to West Brom’s Matheus Pereira, who duly supplied an assist for Callum Robinson.

Nor could Lampard be blamed for Thiago Silva’s howler that gifted Robinson his second.

But the terrible organisation that allowed Kyle Bartley to add a third before the half-hour was up is the type of deficiency that falls at Frank’s door.

This is a Chelsea team that can attack to Champions League standards but defend to Championship standards … and that is being harsh on tier two.

Lampard does not need to be told all this. In his halcyon playing days, Chelsea’s success was built on a formidable defence.

Whatever combination he comes up with, this defence, right now, is anything but formidable.

The second half response was superb but it remains a draw against a team that the elite will routinely beat.

That, along with his defence, is not good enough for Lampard.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more