Frank Lampard has revealed his admiration for Liverpool and Man City and insists his Chelsea side will have to do things a lot differently to close the gap on the Premier League’s top two.
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Chelsea currently sit in fourth place with nine games to go as Lampard’s first season as a manager in the PL has gone pretty well with a young squad and a transfer ban last summer.
Speaking to our partners in the UK Sky Sports, Lampard revealed Chelsea are going to do things a little differently as they try to mount a title challenge.
“I don’t want to jump the gun because what Liverpool and Manchester City have done has been clear; I’d be a fool to suggest we can bridge that gap quickly because there has been a lot of hard work at those clubs in terms of recruitment of top players, of great coaches,” Lampard said. “We have to be part of that process. We have to do it our way, we can’t try to copy. We have had experienced players around this year to help the youngsters but we know there are little areas within the squad… some of that’s what we have on the ground here already, some of that is how we might look to recruit.”
“What’s going on in the world has made it very difficult to plan on that front. But going into this break I certainly felt we were moving in the right direction and with continued progress and work on the training ground, as well as potentially bringing in some players in key areas to try and help us bridge that gap, yes, I’ve got a strong belief that we can [challenge].”
Reading between the lines, Lampard is saying that Chelsea will maybe not have the same financial clout as Liverpool and Man City to catch up. This seems more like a plan to promote youth, sign young players from elsewhere in Europe (see: Pulisic, Christian and Ziyech, Hakim) and maybe move on from some of their more experienced players.
With Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud all out of contract this summer, there will be a changing of the guard at Chelsea in the coming months with defensive reinforcements needed.
Lampard’s playing philosophy is different to that of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola and he needs younger and quicker players to play the open, attacking style he wants. In many ways, Chelsea are trying to be a blend of Liverpool and Man City with high-pressing coupled with trying to play out of the back and possess the ball.
That makes them different and even though they’ve had relative success this season, these comments suggest Lampard knows they are a long way off challenging Liverpool and Man City for the title.