Time Running Out For Lampard At Chelsea

Putting Chelsea’s season into context, they are just three points ahead of Arsenal – who are having a terrible season. The Blues are worse off than they were at this point last season. They have won just one of their last six matches. Talks of a potential title race has began to simmer as familiar defensive frailties under Frank Lampard have started surfacing once again. Edouard Mendy is now showing his kepabilities, he has started drinking goals like the legendary Kepa ‘Aribibizagba’, where does the problem really lie with Chelsea?

The appointment of Lampard looked more sentimental than deserved. Even if it was expected Lampard was going to manage Chelsea at a point, it kind of came early. Lampard was a manager yet to hone his style as a manager. His time at his first job – Derby County showed glimpses of quality but there was nothing substantive enough.

Lampard legendary status got him the job

Right from last season, his Chelsea team have appeared spineless, despite having Ngolo Kanye – one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League in the last five seasons. The team conceded more than 50 goals in the Premier League last season, a stat for relegation threatened teams. A fourth place finish in a season when they couldn’t bring in players was seen as a plausible success but all the excuses only papered the cracks of Lampard’s inadequacies.

Around £200m signings later, Lampard and Chelsea seemed to have made the wrong signings or Lampard does not just know how to manage his players. It is a combination of both, but more of the latter. Olivier Giroud looks like Lampard’s best center-forward but Lampard always seems reluctant to play him, quite mysteriously. There seems to be an effort to play the misfiring Kai Havertz and Timo Werner into form but both players confidence continues to drop with every passing poor performance. Hakim Ziyech has looked really good but has struggled with fitness. Regardless, without the aforementioned attacking trio, Chelsea have options to cover up. Lampard is just not using them right.

Lampard can’t seem to solve the defensive problem

Chelsea have been terrible defensively and it is not just down to the players. Thiago Silva has come into the defence and has performed creditably alongside Kurt Zouma, Ben Chilwell and Reece James are good at fullback – it is not for a lack of personnel, it is how Lampard sets the team up. The team is always susceptible to counter attacks and the defence seems unshielded most times. Against Wolves, Arsenal and Manchester City, we saw how the opposition practically strolled from one end to Chelsea’s goal. Like Kepa, Mendy seems to also be dropping in confidence after a good start.

Lampard cannot say he has not been backed enough. This Chelsea team should be competing for the title, just a top four should not be enough. They have one of the biggest squads in the league and after one full season in charge, he should have a better hang of the team. As is expected, there is no manager imprint on this Chelsea team. One can not say they are an attacking team or defensively solid team. They are a team struggling for an identity as Lampard has even struggled to identify his strongest eleven. It is looking obvious another manager will do better with the team. One thing has to change at Chelsea, it is becoming clearer it is the manager.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Elder Pele, Penalty War and other Talking Points

Happy New Year to all lunatics and everyone else. This is the first Thoughts of a Lunatic for the year, it should be much more civil or maybe.

COVID-19 is threatening to truncate football calendars once again, football is battling hard to stay alive. We should not be having pandemic champions and or tainted achievements back-to-back. In the wake of Leeds United vs Pundit – Karen Carney, another induced break will take something away from achievements. For those that don’t know about Carney vs Leeds gist, you have to read it up somewhere, I don’t tell stories here but I will judge by saying Leeds were completely classless. Away from that I have some other matters to talk about.

Elder Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pele is a name that will forever remain indelible in the history of football. Pele is unarguably one of the greatest to ever play the game. But as expected, the throne of the greatest ever has not been surrendered to him. He was in a kind of battle for the GOAT with Diego Maradona till Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo came and started disgracing all known numbers.

Pele is in a battle to keep his records

Pele’s recorded official goals were so much that one thought it will take some robots to break it. There were even arguments that he scored more than the recorded numbers.

Just recently Messi broke his record for goals scored for one club. Santos, the club Pele achieved the feat with, came out to say Pele scored more than they recorded. Recently, Ronaldo also overtook Pele on the number of official goals, Pele’s social media bio was edited to say ‘leading goalscorer of all-time’ with over 1,000 goals.

As it stands, no one is allowed to surpass Elder Pele, his numbers will be adjusted as appropriate when needed. All the goals he scored when playing ‘monkey post’ in Brazil has to be included. Make Baba rest jare. At least his World Cup record is safe.

Kicking the flag

There is an idiom known as ‘kicking the bucket’. Another idiom has just been invented – kicking the flag.

So, let me tell you the meaning of kicking the flag, how it should be used and its origin.

You can your breath after kicking the flag

When a striker is bought for big money and he fails to score goals, he can be said to have kicked the flag. E.g Timo Werner is kicking the flag at Chelsea. The idiom is in honor of Werner who has had more embarrassing misses than goals at Chelsea. Werner has missed when it was easier to score than to miss.

It is however surprising that Lampard prefers a misfiring Werner upfront to an Olivier Giroud. The last time Werner scored was in the first week of November. It appears Chelsea have a German Alvaro Morata on their hands. Even Chelsea have kicked the flag.

Penalty War

A penalty war is brewing in the Premier League. Who gets awarded more penalties? So when a team struggles in a match, could hardly muster shots on target, the coach can come out to talk about the number penalties they get compared to other teams.

Kudos to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has gotten Manchester United into title conversations. Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side lose at Southampton and Klopp’s excuse was to compare Manchester United penalty numbers, really? Agreed some of the penalty calls may be questionable but hey Mr Klopp, that was not why you lost to Southampton.

Penalty shouts coming out loud

For Manchester United fans, they should be happy they have gotten into title conversations but we all know that they are semi-final champions under Solskjaer. Just yesterday, they lost another semi-final match to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup and will now play the third place match against Brentford. We won’t be surprised when they start battling for third again in the Premier League.

That’s all for today, once again welcome to the new year. Follow Goaldball across social media – goaldball on Facebook and Instagram, and @goaldbal on Twitter. Don’t follow the Lunatic anywhere, who follows a Lunatic by the way?