Chelsea are just days away from starting their Premier League season now, and all eyes are on the Blues as they head to Old Trafford for the biggest fixture of the opening weekend of the season.
We all know that this is an odd year for the Blues. They have lost their best player, they can’t make any signings, and they have a club legend – but one with very little experience – coming in as manager.
That makes it very hard to set expectations for this team, or know what Lampard has been told to aim for this season.
One thing that would be an unqualified success would be getting into the top four. That would secure Champions League football next season, and guarantee an extra wedge of cash to spend – once we’re allowed to spend it of course.
In previous years, finishing in the top four was really the minimum expected of a Chelsea manager. Now it would be seen as a real victory for Frank, given the circumstances.
Earning your spot in that hallowed group is a season long slog, as we’ve learned many times before, but a point at the start of the season is worth as much as a point at the end. Last season, the strong unbeaten start we made under Maurizio Sarri set us up so nicely that we were able to afford a serious wobble in the Spring.
Away at Man U is not an easy game, but more than just thinking about the match itself and how the team plays, we’ve got to think already about what we will be hoping for in May. United are one of our chief rivals for those 4 spots, and winning at their stadium on the first day could be absolutely massive in the long run.
Equally, tactically settling for a draw rather than pushing for a win could be a smart play too. It will be interesting to see what approach Lampard takes to trying to steer this ship to the top of the table.