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Lampard fully focused on Everton litmus test as Chelsea seek to maintain standards

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One game at a time

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

This time last year, almost to the day, Chelsea went to Goodison Park, conceded inside of five minutes in either half and went on to lose 3-1 to an interim-managed Everton, who practically bullied the Blues back to London. The loss was part of our worst run of Lampard’s first season in charge, with just 4 wins in 10, including three home defeats to terrible teams, including one who’d go on to be relegated (West Ham, Bournemouth, Southampton).

Tomorrow, we head back to Goodison on the back of a 17-match unbeaten run. It feels like we’ve come quite far, but the proof will be in the pudding.

“I think we’ve progressed. [Last year] was an experience for the players, one we didn’t handle well on the pitch. We were aware of what we were going into that day and the nature of the game and Duncan Ferguson in charge. It felt like we were going into a physical game and they beat us on that front.

“I’d like to think we’ve progressed since then, not just because of that experience but generally with the slightly young team we have at times but also some of the players we brought in and the experience.

“But we have to show that on the pitch. It would be wrong of me to cite the physical nature of this Everton team as the big battle we have to win because there are various battles we have to win to try and win the game.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London

Saturday’s litmus test could have wider ranging implications as well, as we find ourselves embroiled in an early-season top of the table jostling. How far we can go in that regard, how long we can stay up there, how delicious said pudding will taste will depend entirely on our own ability to maintain our standards and keep performing consistently. In a season already greatly disrupted by outside forces, consistency will be an even greater difference-maker than usual.

“We’re happy where we are but there’s a long way to go. It doesn’t matter too much, the rhetoric. [...] The words are not that important at this point. It’s more about us at Chelsea working and understanding it’s about the consistency over the course of the season that wins titles, not matches in the middle of December.”

“It’s important to focus and for the squad to understand this Premier League is so tough and unforgiving that if we drop our standards we won’t be where we want to be. Focus is all on the Premier League.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London

The message and the task at hand are clear.