The general mood at Chelsea has been more positive than usual, and that’s thanks in a large part to new head coach Frank Lampard, who looks eager to replicate his successes as a player at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard’s training has been intense but also fun, and has garnered very positive reviews from players new and old — though it’s obviously way too early for any of the usual criticisms to seep out into the press.
The latest praise come from Lampard’s former teammate at Manchester City, backup goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero, the oldest and most experienced player in the squad.
“The manager has been great with us so far. He played at this club for a long time and won many trophies here, and he wants the same for us as players and for him as the head coach.
“We have been training so hard but the sessions have been very enjoyable. Frank and his staff plan training well and each day is enjoyable. We have people like Jody [Morris], Joe [Edwards] and Chris [Jones] who have all been at Chelsea for a long time and understand the club, so when they speak to us we understand what they want from us.
“Training has been very good and I think you can see that we are improving day by day with how the manager wants us to play.”
As we know all too well, the mood can change rather quickly once the season starts, where the harsh reality of Eden Hazard’s departure and Chelsea’s transfer ban will be most felt. Despite all the controversy and all the narratives, Chelsea did manage to finish best of the rest after Manchester City and Liverpool and won the second biggest European trophy with ease.
Improving those results may be a tall ask, though Caballero is confident we can do it. After all, summer is a time for confidence.
“We have a very good group of players here, which we demonstrated last season by winning the Europa League and finishing third in the Premier League. Now we have to work with the new head coach and look to improve on last season. We certainly believe we have a good team and can do even better.”
Until then, the preseason battle for starting spots and, for some, just places on the team, in general, rages on.
“We have had a great preseason so far and the time we spent in Ireland and Japan was very important.
“We have a good mix of young players and more senior members of the team involved and it has been great for us to all bond together, but also it’s very important for the new manager to work with us all. It helps the manager have a good look at the squad close up and we have a fantastic base of a team here.
“We have to be ready to work hard, he’s told us that, and that we have a lot of talent in the squad. It’s an exciting time to be at the club.”
-Wilfredo Caballero; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.