Chelsea’s fixtures over the first week of the season have proven nothing short of brutal. Having to face two Premier League top six rivals, Manchester United and Leicester City, on either side of a midweek cup tie two timezones away against the Champions of Europe, and the early Premier League pace-setters, Liverpool, all in the span of eight days with an injury-hit squad would not be an easy task for any team — with or without the good vibes and the romance of a club legend taking charge.
In that context, two draws — yes, including the Super Cup — and one defeat, even if by a rather large margin, isn’t the worst outcome. It obviously could be better, and even a lot better, but there are reasonable extenuating circumstances that should be taken into account when assessing the start of Lampard’s tenure.
That said, we should not be settling for these results, right, Dave?
“When you have better spells than the opponent, you have to kill the game. In the first 20, 25 minutes we were a lot better than [Leicester], we were controlling the game and having a lot of chances. We needed to score a second goal.
“The Premier League is very tough, and Leicester are a good team with good players and good quality. We knew they could create us problems and when you are 1-0 up you are at risk.
“The season is long. We would like to have started in another way with different results, but the performances have been good and now it’s time to get results.
“We are Chelsea and we don’t accept not winning. It’s up to us to raise the levels and get a win next Saturday.”
-César Azpilicueta; Source: Chelsea FC
Bold words from the captain. That’s why he’s captain!
Unfortunately, he himself has been guilty of dropping levels, and he may not be too long for the starting right back job. Whether that means a positional change for him (center back? defensive midfield?) or a seat on the bench (as has been a recent trend for club captains) remains to be seen.
Either way, after the promise and frustrations of the first week, a win is needed this weekend at Norwich.