Frank Lampard may prefer his teams to play pro-active, up-tempo, high-energy, hyphenated-adjective football, but he certainly knows a thing or two about playing in a reactive, counter-attacking style as well. Some of his greatest nights as a player came on the backs of heroic defensive performances or miraculous one-off events that are unlikely to ever be repeated.
And Newcastle wouldn’t have to dig so deep into the shadow realm as Chelsea did repeatedly just in the spring of 2012. The Magpies already pulled off shocking 1-0 wins over Spurs and Manchester United — they are their only two wins on the season in fact — and while United are hilariously inept at the moment, Spurs were not (yet at the time). Lampard certainly took notice.
“I saw them at Tottenham earlier in the season put in a show of resilience and counter-attacking football. So whether they do exactly that, who knows. That is their prerogative but they have a template to getting results against teams in that way. So I will only see them at their best for the way that we prepare, what can they do to hurt us? We know in the Premier League every game has huge challenges and I expect nothing different from Newcastle.”
Chelsea will of course be favorites today, playing at home and in good form (at least prior to the international break), but taking the three points for granted would be a major mistake. This is where Lampard and his staff come in, to ensure that their young Blues are fully focused and ready to go. And while even that won’t ever guarantee victory — otherwise why even play sports? — it will give us the best chance to win, to keep building, and to keep growing in confidence.
“We need to make sure we don’t have short memories and think everything will be fine. We need to remember why we were playing well [before the break]. We worked hard, improved aspects of our game and we were getting good results. We have to get straight back to that [and] carry on where we left off.”
”From the outside, people will look at us and make us favourites at home. That would be a casual mistake for us to make. We know Newcastle are determined, they’re organised and they have got results already this season against teams that are pushing at the higher end of the league. We need to make sure we control what we can control, which is how quickly we move the ball, can we create chances enough to score goals which we have been doing in all our games, and making sure we’re switched on to the danger that they give us. I expect us to be strong, physical, sharp and at our best, and if we do that we’ll have a great chance.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Clear eyes, full hearts, Tammy goals.