Chelsea head into the winter break with an eventful, lucky, unlucky, frustrating 2-2 draw against Leicester City, which featured some of the greatest hits of our season thus far: poor finishing, porous defending, unlucky deflections, lucky let-offs, random collapses, some wonderful football, and even a minor fightback.
One might argue that such things happen in all football games — which is why it’s the greatest sport — but with every match balanced on a knife edge for practically all 90 minutes, it’s been an exhausting season for Chelsea players and fans alike. Not necessarily exhausting in a bad way. Simply exhausting. I felt physically tired just watching yesterday’s game, let alone emotionally.
The two-week winter break thus comes at an ideal time, and Lampard wants everyone to take full advantage of it.
“We will all go away for a week away from each other, it’s probably what’s needed for everyone. We will come back and work hard [after].”
For some, the winter break will be a chance to recover physically, be that from minor injuries (e.g.: Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic) or simply too much football (Mason Mount, Willian, etc.). For others, the break will be a chance to recenter and refocus mentally. Some of Lampard’s bold moves yesterday, such as dropping Kepa Arrizabalaga in favor of Willy Caballero, or choosing to sub on Ross Barkley instead of Michy Batshuayi for Abraham will surely deliver a strong message to those snubbed. (And if not, then that’s their loss.)
And for one special case, it’ll be a break to help cope with the disappointment of the last month, and specifically the last week, and hopefully set him up for a better second half of the season than the first.
“[Giroud] has had a few days where a lot of scrutiny has been on him and around him [so] it was case of travelling without him [to Leicester].
“[But] Olivier is here. If he shows himself in training, because that is how I pick the team generally, then he will get his opportunities.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Metro
Lampard’s reluctance to use Giroud, a proven goalscorer, despite Chelsea’s continuing woes in chance-conversion has been a bit baffling. Perhaps he himself will have a bright idea come to him in a moment of relaxation, to how to better utilize the veteran striker, for the benefit of all involved.