Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Everton marked the most dominant home display by the Blues this season. It reminded us of Chesea’s 5-0 rout against Everton in the 2016/17 title winning season under Conte when Chelsea dominated from the first whistle to the last.
Time and again we have seen us not capitalising on the chances we create before succumbing to a counters from the opposition... but today wasn’t that day. Today, Chelsea’s attackers were clinical, the midfield solid and the defence glued to bring home all 3 points with a clean sheet! Lampard was visibily delighted.
“At home yes, because of the goals and the clean sheet.
“It is an easy one to analyse on that front but in terms of performance, we have been close to that a lot at Stamford Bridge and I have then sat here and mulled over a 1-0 defeat because we have played some really good stuff at times here, with energy, and we haven’t got the last bit which is the unpredictable bit, the goals that make the performance more comfortable.
“Today we had that. We have reached levels but today it all came together, the finishing, the energy in the team, the speed of pass, the getting after the ball and winning it back, and that is a nice little template. There is a lot of work to be done and it is even better to say that after a good performance because we need to keep our feet on the ground, but today we saw some really good stuff.”
Chelsea have battled injuries, a transfer ban, the exit of some big players, as well as the general inexperience in the squad but so far everyone has pulled together and not let the ship led by Lampard go spiralling out of bounds.
Attitude and focus are vital for any team at any point of the season, let alone a team with several obstacles even before the season started. Lampard acknowledges the mentality shown by the team tonight that reflects the culture being built.
“You will always need your squad through the year. We have a lot of injuries but the only way to tackle that is to work and fight and play at a high intensity with energy and to trust in each other.
“The whole attitude and focus of the team felt really strong today after the Liverpool win and sometimes I have been searching for why we have played well at home and not scored and there has been something missing. Today there was pure focus within the group.”
What Lampard has managed to do different and better than some previous managers is keeping the entire squad happy and on it’s toes even when some payers hadn’t seen a minute of gametime come their way for large stretches of the season. That’s good man management on display.
Credit goes to the players as well for not kicking up a fuss on the bench and in stead working harder than ever to change the mind of the coach. Good spirits all around!
“We had Olivier Giroud playing well. ‘He is selfless and then you must have runners and energy around him to make the most of it. And stick balls in the box like we did for his goal. He is a personality and we need that.
“Kepa has been out of the team and showed character and he has come in for two clean sheets and made saves, and had a brave moment at the end of this game. Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso have come back in and that is what we need. It does not matter if you are four months from the end of your contract or out the team for a month, you have to train every day full pelt, be a brilliant team-mate and when you come in you have to try to contribute.”
The last two games have seen Chelsea play some of the best football this season that has also reflected well on the result sheet. Not many would imagine an 18 year old to engineer the recent rise in form but here we are. Dictating play like Jorginho, being industrious like Kante and smooth on the ball like Kovacic, Chelsea have a gem in their hands.
Teenager Billy Gilmour has grabbed 2 consecutive Man of the Match awards in as many games to announce himself to the footballing world and continue the brilliant story of this season which has seen the rise and integration of young talent in the squad. Lampard highlighted Billy’s qualities and pointed out the versatility he has brought in midfield that could help Lampard with some tactical adjustments during games.
“Billy is receiving the ball in difficult areas on the pitch where if you don’t move it quickly you don’t get the rhythm of our play, and secondly if you give it away there it is dangerous, so you need confidence to do that, and Jorginho has it and Billy has it.
“One of the most pleasing things is that Billy showed that in the first half and then when he stepped up and played as one of the higher midfield players later in the game, he instantly took it on board, arriving in their box and playing balls higher up the pitch and he showed he can do both [positions] which is a great thing for me when I am thinking about how the midfield looks at times.”
The line between confidence and over confidence is as thin as Jorginho’s limbs but Lampard isn’t taking the recent confidence boosting wins for granted. There is much more to learn and improve which is the sole aim of Lampard and his team.
“I am experienced enough to know we go to Aston Villa for our next game and they are fighting for their lives, they have good players so we must try to replicate what we showed today. We had a good patch early in the season, we have struggled with inconsistency recently, but who hasn’t in this league apart from Liverpool, and in a transitional period, although I don’t accept that, it is understandable. So we have to work as have today to show that we can finish [the season] with strength and get better.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Onwards and upwards!