Frank Lampard has had his critics during his reign as Chelsea manager, some warranted, some not. But as much as we have our right as fans to offer critique, we also must praise where it’s due, and last night deserves some praise.
Chelsea beat Russian side Krasnodar 4-0 in the Champions League Group stages. Yes I know, they aren’t the best side, and they were also struggling with injuries. But the way the match was going until midway through the second half, Chelsea could have easily thrown the game away.
The Russians came out firing in the second half after Chelsea’s shiny new stars failed to show any sort of chemistry and could not click in an attacking sense.
Lampard saw this, and made a tactical switch that effectively changed the game from being close, to his side thrashing their opponents.
He bought Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic on and switched formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3, and Chelsea automatically looked 10 times more threatening in the final third.
They attacked with more numbers, more energy, and more intensity. It was a wise in-game switch from Lampard, and it had the immediate desired effect.
The formation is one that many fans want to see more often going forward, and I am inclined to agree. We should use it against lower opposition for sure, especially when we need to break teams down. But the formation should be opponent dependent.
4-3-3 is our best formation imo, and the one Frank wants to use most. But it needs a traditional DM. Can Kante do it? Maybe, but he would need to learn to stay disciplined in the position and then he could grow into the role. 4-3-3 can be our perfect balance.
— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) October 28, 2020
There are arguments Chelsea need a more solid and traditional defensive midfielder to play this formation successfully, and that might be true. But I also see no reason why N’Golo Kante cannot be that guy for now.
4-3-3 going forward? For me, yes absolutely, but not for every opponent – we must be adaptive.