3. Win at all costs
Tied closely to the last point is the most basic notion of all: Chelsea just needs to win. Many look back on Chelsea sides in the 2000s as ultra defensive, counter attacking juggernauts. The same was said about Mourinho’s stint and Conte’s stint with the club. It is a convenient but far too simple narrative.
Those teams were more than capable of shutting up shop and smacking the opponent on the counter, but they did so only against teams that required that approach. Against other teams, they would play on the front foot and go at the opponent if that was what was required. The only thing that mattered was winning the match. The how of it was secondary.
In recent seasons, and especially since Conte’s second season, there has been a desire for Chelsea to play a more progressive, attractive style. That is all well and good, but it has caused far too many to remember the point of the game at this level is to win. No one cared that Chelsea played ugly when they won. Playing pretty may buy a manager time, but it has never saved a manager when things are going poorly.
That is basically where Lampard’s Chelsea is right now. Every thing is a bit too cute, a bit too fancy. Sam Allardyce is often derided for how his teams play, but he earned his reputation as a relegation escape artist because he understood at the end of the day it was all about points. For a few years now, Chelsea has simply tried too hard to be the team on the front foot. The team trying to score the perfect team goal. The team trying to set the standard.
The Blues can’t afford that right now. The only thing that matters at this point in the season is points on the board. How that comes about shouldn’t matter like it didn’t matter to Chelsea of old. If the Blues want to be the protagonists of games that is fine, but they need to make sure they aren’t the tragic hero at the end of the story.
What changes do you think Lampard needs to implement? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!