Chelsea fans have cause for optimism after Frank Lampard led the Blues on a run of four straight victories in all competitions. They thrashed Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s to move up to fifth in the Premier League table, and an exciting crop of youngsters continues to impress. After a shaky start to the new campaign, Chelsea appears to be back on track and the future looks bright for the team.
Lampard may struggle to earn silverware in his first season as Chelsea boss. The top betting sites make the Blues huge underdogs to overhaul Liverpool and Man City in the title race, while they are not among the favourites for the cups and Champions League glory seems overly ambitious right now. However, this was always going to be a transitional season, and so far it is going better than many expected.
The two-window transfer ban that prevented the club from signing anyone in the summer could actually prove to be a blessing in disguise. It means Lampard is able to operate without the pressure that is normally piled onto the shoulders of new Chelsea managers. He is a young and inexperienced manager, and this situation gives him crucial time to grow into the role. It also forces him to give youngsters a chance in order to plug gaps in the squad – and they have risen to the challenge with aplomb.
Tammy Abraham has eight goals already and he shares the lead in the Golden Boot race with Man City superstar Sergio Aguero. Mason Mount has chipped in with another four and he continues to dazzle with the maturity and ingenuity of his general play. Fiyako Tomori has been superb at the back, and Callum Hudson-Odoi is now back. Ruben Loftus-Cheek should also saunter into the team when he recovers from injury.
It is so rare for young English players to be given this much playing time at a big Premier League club like Chelsea. It is reminiscent of Man Utd’s fabled Class of ’92. By next summer, they will all have a year of top-flight experience under their belts, and they could be well on their way to becoming world-class players. Then Chelsea could go out and spend £200 million on a few big players and really challenge for glory in 2020/21.
This season the Blues would always have struggled to overhaul Man City and Liverpool, even if they had been able to spend in the summer. Yet those two could tire one another out this season, and Chelsea could swoop in and seize the initiative next time around. Abraham, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Timori and Kepa Arrizabalaga form the spine of a really strong team, and they will be significantly improved by next season. Star players N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger are still in their prime, while Christian Pulisic could yet come good.
If Chelsea were then to buy a couple of top defenders and another exciting winger, they could easily win the Premier League. The future looks great, but the present is also exciting. There is nothing to say that Chelsea cannot seize silverware this season. Mount and Abraham are playing fearless football and Chelsea has looked extremely sharp going forward. If Lampard can find a way to sort out the defence then the Blues could go on a great cup run.
They also have a great chance of securing a top-four finish. Man Utd are floundering, Arsenal are never really convincing and Spurs are veering towards a crisis. Chelsea has a more exciting project going on than any of those teams, and Lampard has installed a clear vision. There may be a few hiccups along the way, but positivity should be abundant among the Chelsea fan base right now.