Ross Barkley joined Chelsea in January 2018, coming off a major hamstring injury. Naturally he played very little part for the remainder of that season. With a proper pre season under new manager Maurizio Sarri, Barkley managed to grab a starting spot initially — at one point being called a “complete midfielder”, even — but as the season progressed, he was relegated to Cup duties and substitute appearances in the Premier League, first with Kovačić and then Ruben Loftus-Cheek climbing up the pecking order.
Lampard’s arrival means Barkley gets to work under his third manager in 18 months, though that’s not all that rare around these parts (#ITSACHELSEATHING). Lampard has promised a clean slate for all, which provides another chance for Barkley, once touted for greatness, to fulfill his potential. What better way to do so than under an absolute legend who was an idol for many budding English midfielders.
“He was a player I looked up to when I was growing up, and then I was lucky enough to play with him as well and take tips from him when we were with England together. Now it’s great to have him as manager. He will pass things that used to work for him in games on to us. To have him back is brilliant for the players because of the experiences he has had over his career, and it’s going to be really exciting for the fans as well.”
Before the start of another relentless Premier League season, it is important to shed all the summer rust and get back into shape at the earliest, especially given that Lampard’s style appears to require immense work-rate in and out of possession.
The new manager vibe is fresh in the squad and for now, things are looking exciting for everyone, young and old, and everyone’s motivated to work hard and win their place in the team.
“It’s been really good to be back together with all the boys. We are working hard. The training sessions have been really intense. We have been up and running with the new manager straight away and we have put in a lot of extra miles.
“There’s only Christian [Pulisic] who needs to bed in, plus some of the young lads who will get a chance. There is so much talent in the squad. We have got a new manager, a legend of the club, and a new playing style, so it’s going to be an exciting season. We’re all thinking positively.”
The No.8 shirt is famous at every club, but at Chelsea, the story is legendary. Frank Lampard is arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever player, not just greatest No.8. Either way, it’s added motivation for Barkley to try to carry on the legacy.
“Of course he was a massive player to wear that number for Chelsea. I was No.8 at Everton too so when the club said it was available for me and I could take it, I thought why not? It was great to take that number and hopefully there are many seasons ahead that I can score loads of goals.”
-Ross Barkley; source: Chelsea FC
With Ruben Loftus-Cheek out for the long term, Barkely should have plenty of opportunities to carry the goalscoring load.