We’re a few games into the Premier League season now, and the pundits are beginning to form their opinions on the teams they will be watching all season. Received knowledge becomes received wisdom, and some of these opinions will soon become deeply entrenched and bitterly fought over.
Chelsea’s tropes this season have already been settled. Is Frank Lampard picking a team that’s too young? Are they naive? Can good attacking make up for bad defending?
It’s worth remembering that similar things were said about Jurgen Klopp when he was establishing himself at Liverpool. While he wasn’t forced into such a youthful team by a transfer ban, the balance of his team was constantly questioned. Every time they failed to keep a clean sheet or sign a new centre back he was public enemy number one for “failing to address his team’s problems”.
In the end of course, given enough time and the right players, he made his team as effective at the back as at the front.
Those on Sky Sports may say that you have to build from the back, but the reality, as we’ve seen within the last couple of seasons from the European champions themselves, is that working from the front can be just as effective.
So keep the faith in Frank. Until he gets his Virgil Van Dijk, let’s keep making the best of the strengths of the players we do have.