Opposition view: Results have not provided a fair reflection of Lampard’s start at Chelsea
- Credit: PA
Ahead of tomorrow’s Carrow Road clash between Norwich City and Chelsea, Adam Robinson from the Eastern Blues supporter group is relaxed about the visitors’ slow start to the season.
Were you pleased with the appointment of Frank Lampard?
Personally, I was pleased when it was announced that Frank would be returning to the club. Frank is a Chelsea legend and has such a great relationship with the fans. Along with Jody Morris, they had a great first year at Derby. Although young in terms of your typical manager/coach, they both have strong connections from top to bottom at Chelsea and know the youth players who are establishing themselves as first-team players very well, which is something that is quite important with the transfer ban. Many Chelsea fans have been wanting a long-term manager for a long time. Given time, with the backing and patience of the fans, Frank and Jody could create something really special.
How do you assess the first three games, any worries?
Not really. If you are looking on the result on paper, you could see why people would expect us to be worried. I was at both the Man Utd and Leicester games and the 4-0 lost in Manchester wasn't justified. We played well and were the better team for long spells of the game, we just didn't take our chances. Anyone who saw the Super Cup game against Liverpool will have seen we were on top and lost on penalties, which is really a lottery at that point. It would have been good to get the three points on Sunday against Leicester to try and start putting together a run of wins, however it wasn't to be. I think we seemed a little 'leggy' in the last third of the match, maybe a 'hangover' from the long midweek to Istanbul so early in the season.
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Lampard seems to have stuck to similar tactics as Maurizio Sarri so far?
I think it's one of those things were changes take time to implement. Frank isn't going to be able to come in and change it drastically and expect it to work straight away. Quite a few of our players were back later for pre-season. It will be interesting to see what Frank does with Jorginho and N'Golo Kante and the defensive midfielder role.
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Although transfer business was restricted by an embargo, is the squad in good shape?
I think we've got a good squad, with a number of players still yet to return from injury. With the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi still recovering from injury, plus Willian is only really getting up to speed after missing most of the pre-season matches due to international duty. Obviously, Eden Hazard is a big loss for us, as it would be for any side. He was the best player in the Premier League. A great servant for us and everyone wishes him well at Real Madrid. There are some areas that I'm sure Frank will be looking to strength in once the opportunity arises.
Did you agree with the decision to sell David Luiz to Arsenal?
Yes, I do. You shouldn't be guaranteeing any player a place in the starting 11 and if they aren't happy to play for their place, then its best that they move on. Frank has got it bang on when he has said there are no first choices and age does not matter, it all about the performance.
Are you concerned there could be a lack of firepower from the strikers?
I think the centre-forward position is one that Chelsea would have been looking to strengthen if it wasn't for the transfer ban. Since Diego Costa left we have struggled to fill that role. Also, with losing Eden you are losing a number of goals that were coming from midfield too. It will be great to see Tammy Abraham step up and have a great season in the Premier League. We also have the likes of Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic coming into the midfield who are certainly capable of scoring goals.
Are you worried about playing Norwich, after seeing City beat Newcastle so emphatically?
I wouldn't say worried, however they have had a good start. The second half performance at Liverpool was a lot better than the first, but Newcastle are going to struggle this year. Of course, you want to win every game, but this one is never a good one to drop points in as I will be getting it from all angles as I work with a lot of Norwich fans!
Do you think Daniel Farke can keep the Canaries clear of relegation trouble this season?
Yes from what I've seen so far I think Norwich will stay up. There are a few teams that look weaker and more likely to go down, but it's a long season and you never know what can happen!
And finally, what is your prediction for Saturday's game?
I think it will be 3-1 to Chelsea.
- Eastern Blues is one of the largest official Chelsea supporters clubs, giving members priority ticket access, organised club travel to home, away and European games and local events with ex-Chelsea players. Go to easternblues.co.uk for further details.