There’s been a lot of talk about this young Chelsea’s squad mentality in recent weeks, some of it good, some of it bad, mostly matching the team’s performances overall, which have oscillated between good and bad for the last 2-3 months.
After the recent call from the manager of the players needing to grow a pair, Chelsea responded with a magnificent win away at Spurs, then slumped to a less than magnificent loss at home against Southampton. Yesterday, the pendulum once again swung back in the ballsy direction, though it did so during the middle of the game rather than before it.
As the head coach revealed afterwards, the scene in the dressing room at half-time was rather dramatic.
“I said my piece and was pretty firm because you can’t just come here and have nothing about you and think you’re going to get anything. It was ‘can we show something here, lads? Because we have to, we’re Chelsea and we can’t just roll up and not feel like the 3,000 fans who have travelled across London to watch the game’.
“Then the lads started talking and it was a bit aggressive, which is a good thing.”
It perhaps instructive to compare this with the scene painted by chatterbox third goalkeeper Rob Green in his most recent tell-all interview, where he claimed that he was the only player willing to make his voice heard.
There are apparently no such hang-ups for Lampard’s young charges — or even the somewhat older charges, if the little tête-à-tête between Rüdiger and Arrizabalaga towards the end of the game was any indication — and that suits the former Chelsea (Vice-)captain just fine.
“I like that and there should be because you don’t want 11 quiet players who just get on with it and just want to trot out again.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Telegraph
As last weekend’s win over Spurs, this once again feels like a potential turning point. But that all depends on how we follow up, starting with the midweek match against Brighton (away).
“This is not a turning point, it is only a turning point if we show it going forward, but we showed we can have a right go and win a game in a different way. At Tottenham we won it by playing really good football from beginning to end and today we won it by showing fighting spirit. If we can put them together then we will have a chance.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Clear eyes, full hearts, right?