Chelsea’s fan base has been quite divided over the past few weeks, but one point everyone agreed on was the need to see a reaction following the 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
Frank Lampard’s side became the laughing stock of the Premier League when they were overall beaten by the former Premier League laughing stock, and the players were widely criticized for their lack of energy or desire to win.
Chelsea were fortunate enough to bounce back 48 hours later when Aston Villa arrived at Stamford Bridge, and every fan felt like they had to see something much better than the last performance.
Did the supporters get this reaction from the players? I want to say, I suppose? Kinda?
There is no denying that the team were looking more for the Villa game. There was energy and enthusiasm, and Chelsea showed a real willingness to take the ball. 63% possession and 16 shots on goal is all the proof you need.
While Lampard’s claim that Chelsea deserved to win could be a bit From start to finish, it cannot be denied that the Blues were better than they were against Arsenal. If we step outside the dictionary definition of a reaction, we have it.
It was refreshing to see Chelsea looking for a fight again, and to their credit, Lampard’s side pushed until the very last second to find a winner (side note: Ben Chilwell’s late volley was almost unreal) , but it’s How? ‘Or’ What they pushed for what is the biggest concern of fans.
There was a lot of possession, but with that possession came a lot of scoreless crosses. Of course, when you have Olivier Giroud in the box, it’s not really a bad idea, but it more indicates a lack of desire to shake something up.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic both seemed ready to try and beat their man, the former being particularly impressive with his energy, but neither really owns that devastating final ball, and there’s no one else in the game. team to make up for that.
Too often N’Golo Kante was Chelsea’s most advanced midfielder. The Frenchman is more effective when given a little more freedom, but when he’s the target of those crosses, or he’s the man in charge of a long-range piledriver, you can tell something’s wrong. do not go.
Lampard was right to point out that Hakim Ziyech’s imminent return will obviously give Chelsea another advantage, but relying so much on a player is unhealthy. Chelsea must find another source of creativity – more than a single player who can take a game by the skin of the neck like Eden Hazard does.
In Lampard’s defense, it’s supposed to be Kai Havertz. The German endured a slow (perhaps understandable) start to life at Stamford Bridge, and until he gets shot he’s not the right player for the current battle.
However, in an attempt to accelerate Havertz’s adjustment, Lampard must try to actually deploy the German in his preferred position. A 4-2-3-1 with Havertz as the ten seems like the next logical step for this Chelsea side, and we’re just waiting for Lampard to pull the trigger.
Make no mistake about it, getting a point against a Villa side who have beaten Liverpool seven times isn’t as bad as it might seem last season. It’s a decent point, but Chelsea fans have every right to want more.
It was a small step back in the right direction, but Lampard’s problem was that all progress has always been slow, and more often than not he has been ruined by negative results like the loss of Arsenal. Steps forward only come after two steps back.
There are reasons to suggest that things will improve soon. Havertz and Timo Werner will surely start to shine soon, and Ziyech’s return will only make things better. However, Lampard’s problem has been finding a way to stay afloat when things don’t go as planned.
The boss must find a solution soon. The pressure is mounting, and while it’s hard to see Chelsea pull the trigger on Lampard after committing to this long-term project, we all know Roman Abramovich is not a patient man.
For more thanTom gott, follow it onTwitter!