Ever since Antonio Conte’s abhorrence of brown sauce — heathen! — made Chelsea’s dietary habits headline news, we’ve been treated to exposes of the Cobham canteen, and what it might mean for Chelsea’s performances and the fate of the universe. A big deal was made of Sarri relaxing Conte’s strict rules, so we’ve been waiting with bated breath just what Frank Lampard might have instituted upon his return to the club as manager. Well, not really, but the
Mail’s Athletic’s Adam Crafton has found out the answer anyway.
According to the report, which provides some behind the scenes details, Lampard is treating his players “like grown-ups” and not micro-managing their nutritional habits as one might expect in modern day professional sports (condiments remain on the menu), nor has he imposed a system of petty fines for minor infractions like tardiness, as has been the tradition for many years at all levels.
Instead, Lampard has made it clear that he expects dedication and utmost commitment on the training ground — which in turn translates to playing time — and is trusting his players to show up on time and in proper shape. One would assume that it’s not a completely laissez-faire approach (the club employs plenty of experts in these fields), but it sounds like there’s a healthy amount of personal responsibility and accountability expected from the players, many of whom are still quite young. It’s perhaps a risky strategy, but one that should pay off if and when the right group of players comes together.
The report also talks about how training is conducted in general, with Jody Morris driving them on as the “on-field lieutenant” and Chris Jones and Joe Edwards taking the lead on video analysis (both team-based and individualized). Apparently the emphasis is on “Plan A” over any other lettered plans, though Lampard has made it patently clear before that he wants his team to be adaptable (difference between tactics and principles?). There’s also plenty of praise for Mason Mount and a few others, which is to be expected since the sources appear to be all very close to Chelsea, including former youth coach Adi Viveash.
In any case, now that we’ve settled the question of brown sauce being IN or OUT this season, we can get down to the business of winning.