Frank Lampard is a three-time Premier League champion as a player, so he was in no rush to make any grand statements or anoint his Chelsea side as title contenders following Monday’s season-opening victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Sure, Chelsea looked quite comfortable at times while en route to their 3-1 win, but the Blues still have miles to go before reaching their sky-high potential. Lampard’s official assessment of his side’s performance? “We were OK.”
“I thought we were OK. I liked the work ethic. If you analyze the fact that we’ve been together as a team for four days, to expect everything to click on day one is difficult. We showed determination and that is a game we might have dropped points in last year.
“I don’t want to pin us down to one system. We have three or four players who want to play as a 10 for us but I want us to be adaptable. We have a lot of attacking players, I want us to be fluid, I want that movement. We weren’t as fluid as we can be today but we will work on that.”
“Reece James’ goal, it had me off my seat and we needed it, we weren’t at our best in that period. Reece has got that in him, he is a player of such quality. You try and get him in areas where he can be a threat.”
A massive part of Lampard’s job this season will be to manage expectations for a side full of young and new faces up and down the squad — not so much for the outside world, but more so inside the club every step of the way. While fans and pundits rush to make judgments, Lampard knows he has to remain the coolest character and keep the group grounded in reality if they are to achieve their goals this season.
One player who will undoubtedly help Chelsea sooner rather than later is Christian Pulisic, though the American superstar was unavailable for the game against Brighton. After suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup final just six weeks ago, Pulisic felt a bit of discomfort over the last few days and was held out accordingly, Lampard said after the game.
Lampard says Werner got a dead leg in the penalty incident, but should be fine for next week. He adds Christian Pulisic had a bit of discomfort in the last few days and his progress will be monitored in the coming days.
That's all from the boss – more online soon. #BHACHE
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2020