Champions of Europe Liverpool may have finished 25 points ahead of Champions of Europa Chelsea last season, and may already have a 7 point lead over the Blues after just five games, but the last time we played them, we almost won the Super Cup. An even contest all the way through was decided by the narrowest of margins, in a penalty shootout.
Head coach Frank Lampard is hoping for more of the same, if not better, but warns that it’s going to be take Chelsea’s absolute best to do so.
“[The Super Cup] showed that we can compete with one of the best teams in the country. It’s a new game and if you aren’t at your best then they are a team who will punish you.”
The man with the unfortunate miss in the shootout was none other than Tammy Abraham. All he’s done since is score a league-leading 7 goals in the Premier League, one less than Mo Salah and Sadio Mané combined. But most of Tammy’s goals have come against less than top-quality opposition. Here’s a chance then to prove himself against the best of the best, likely facing off against UEFA and Premier League Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk.
It’s a similar situation at the other end, where a young defense recently headlined by Fikayo Tomori will have to keep Liverpool much-vaunted attacking trident in check.
“If [Abraham and Tomori] play, yes, [it will be a test for them]. Van Dijk’s performances have put him right up there. It’s a test for our centre-forward. And Tomori has shown a real calmness, but give Liverpool one second and they have gone.”
While the schedule gets a little easier following Sunday’s game, with a League Cup tie against fourth division opposition, then games against Brighton, Lille, and Southampton before the October international break, the one thing we’ve clearly learned this season already is that there will not be any easy games. The team may be youthful, exciting, promising, and easy to love, but consistency and concentration has been an issue as it often tends to be with young players. The only remedy for that is time, repetition, and mostly importantly, patience.
“[Coaching Chelsea is] hard work, I expected that. It’s a club that I love and I feel at home. It’s great to be around familiar faces.”
“I have seen signs of improvement and it is good to see that. I am in the moment, and I am working towards something.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
As a player, Lampard was always working hard, and improving with utmost dedication. And that’s all we can ask for from him and his players at the moment.