Lampard puts his faith in youngsters, is he right?
New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard looks to be putting his confidence in the youngsters at Stamford Bridge, but is he making the right decision?
It was never going to be easy for Lampard, moving back to the Blues from Derby County, after enjoying a successful first season in management during which the Rams ultimately lost the Championship play-off final to Aston Villa.
Moving from the Rams back to Stamford Bridge was a massive step and one not to be taken lightly – even when you are a club legend like Lampard is.
A transfer ban made the job of replacing Maurizio Sarri an almost impossible task but Lampard has gone in with a fresh look and has promoted a lot of the club’s youngsters into the first-team picture and wants to build the side around them.
Going forward they seem to be in good shape as all six Premier League goals for the Blues this season have come from youngsters who were all former loanees elsewhere.
Tammy Abraham, who has four goals, and Mason Mount, who has hit two, are laying down an early marker as the Blues look good in attack.
However, Derby fans will tell you they were a good side going forward in the Championship, but things were different at the back. The Rams kept just 11 clean sheets in the second tier last time out in 46 matches, shipping 54 goals along the way.
Lampard has got his Chelsea side playing in a similar attacking style but he has also appears to have a leaky defence and they have yet to keep a clean sheet this season as they sit in 11th spot in the fledgling Premier League table on five points.
While he has done well with the youngsters up front, he is now under increasing pressure to bring some in at the back as Cesar Azpilicueta appears to have chosen the wrong time to lose his form – apparent in the home draw with Sheffield United last weekend.
The 30-year-old’s lack of confidence was evident when Enda Stevens nipped past him to tee up Callum Robinson just after half-time, and he was unable to block the cross that led to Kurt Zouma’s own goal for United’s equaliser in the 2-2 draw.
That has led to calls for Lampard to bring in another youngster in Reece James, who is another Academy product who has a big backing at the club.
Lampard is trying to bring in a new dawn at Chelsea with the youngsters but he needs results on the pitch and must also try to keep the side in the hunt for a top-six place.
It’s admirable in its approach but also risky. There’s no doubt there are some talented youngsters at the club but they also need some experienced heads to help guide them through what will be a tough campaign.
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.