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Jason

Super Frank Thread

Started by Jason,

4,590 posts in this topic
1 hour ago, Vesper said:

City win a significant signpost on Lampard’s long road to catch top two

https://theathletic.com/1893894/2020/06/26/chelsea-2-1-manchester-city-liverpool-title-lampard-guardiola/

Pulisic-and-Willian-Chelsea-Manchester-City-scaled-e1593153411187-1024x683.jpg

Frank Lampard quickly made it clear he did not agree with the prevailing narrative of the night. “I don’t think this game decided the title,” he insisted at the start of the press conference that followed Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City, which officially confirmed Liverpool as Premier League champions. “That was decided a long time ago through Liverpool’s consistency, performances and wins.”

He’s right, of course. This was not Chelsea breaking hearts as they did to Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in May 2016 to complete the Leicester City fairytale. Here, they merely provided some belated closure to a Premier League title race that had run its course well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, applying the finishing blow to City.

But his keenness to draw attention to the totality of Liverpool’s achievement this season is also indicative of a broader point. Lampard has taken every opportunity to express admiration for the work that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have done over the past three years because it is the particular type of achievement that chimes with his own aspirations.

He too wants to establish himself as a manager who can lead a club on a longer-term journey to success, to be considered a team-builder worthy of comparison to the more experienced men he now counts as Premier League rivals. It is why he took such a leading role in the acquisitions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, pitching the latter on his “three-year plan” to take Chelsea back to the top tier of English and European football.

These journeys are punctuated by signature moments, on and off the pitch. Chelsea’s victory over City felt like one of them, though admittedly rather muted in the surreal environment of an empty Stamford Bridge. Guardiola’s team are, even without the injured Sergio Aguero, the most formidable team beaten in the Lampard tenure and they played up to their reputation for stretches of each half.

They were also sloppy and Chelsea were ruthless, itself a sign of positive growth near the end of a season in which wastefulness has too often been the undoing of Lampard’s side..

Christian Pulisic was one miraculous Kyle Walker goalline clearance away from making it three goals in two games since the restart and his sensational solo run for the opener provided further evidence of a potentially foundational piece of the next great Chelsea team. “He’s a young player but he’s got so much talent and he can get better and better,” Lampard said of the American.

At the other end, Andreas Christensen was key to weathering the City storm, winning all eight of his duels and misplacing just three of his 46 passes. Not even a ball to the face could faze him. Lampard may have picked one of the more experienced starting XIs of a season defined by a vibrant youth movement but Chelsea’s two best performers on the night are 24 and 21.

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This win was not an ideological validation for Lampard. Chelsea, having enjoyed more possession in 29 of their previous 30 Premier League games this season, were restricted to a 35.3 per cent share of the ball here, such is generally the way against Guardiola sides — and Bayern Munich achieved a similar level of control en route to a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in February. This time, Chelsea played when they could, and when they could not, they did enough to make sure they survived.

Lampard picked his team not to battle City’s strengths but to exploit their weaknesses. That is an approach more in keeping with the best of Chelsea’s pragmatic heritage in the Roman Abramovich era but it also required some bold selection decisions: N’Golo Kante rather than Jorginho at the base of midfield; Ross Barkley instead of Mateo Kovacic; Olivier Giroud’s link-up play favoured over Tammy Abraham’s greater mobility and energy up front.

Chelsea do not have a tactical visionary like Guardiola or Klopp: the two main figures at the head of the possession and pressing revolutions in football this century. Lampard is, however, a smart coach enhanced both by the courage of his convictions and his willingness to try things. The fact his players rallied after both water breaks against City also speaks well of his skill as a motivator.

Add that to his deep knowledge of the unique decision-making culture at Chelsea and it’s clear Lampard is better equipped than any manager before him to oversee a longer-term build at Stamford Bridge. His decision to empower a group of highly-talented academy graduates in the first-team squad has already put the club on an upward trajectory.

Abramovich’s willingness to spend suggests he too senses an unprecedented opportunity. Liverpool tracked Pulisic before Chelsea moved aggressively for him in January 2019 and wanted Werner before the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to reassess their plans. Whether or not the club follow through on their sincere interest in Kai Havertz, there is no doubt that arguably, for the first time since signing Kante in the summer of 2016, they are shopping solely in the premium aisles again.

Almost five years in the making under Klopp, Liverpool are now a historically great team in their prime, the benchmark for excellence in England and in Europe. City, heading into their fifth season under Guardiola, have the talent and the resources to retool quickly. Lampard is under no illusions about the scale of the task Chelsea face to reach them. “There is a clear gap and it won’t happen overnight with one or two signings,” he insisted. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.

“Liverpool and City have been works in progress for a few years and they are getting success now. I’m not getting carried away. We can get better.”

The history of the Premier League, however, tells us that no team dominates for quite as long as we think they should. Sir Alex Ferguson came closer than anyone to mastering the art of perpetual winning at Manchester United but his greatness lay in minimising the painful transitions between his dominant sides — not in eliminating them entirely.

Liverpool are back on their perch for now, with City their only serious domestic threat — but of the rest aspiring to reach the summit in the coming years, Chelsea have most cause for optimism.

great read, the future really looks bright for Chelsea :) 

Vesper and Atomiswave like this

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 As of now, a comfortable top 4 finish and a trophy expected for next season. 

However, expectations can change. We win every game in the league, plus the FA Cup, and/or our rivals fail to strengthen next season whilst we get Chilwell and Havertz, I think its safe to say we should be expecting a title challenge. 

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Five subs and Chelsea depth aiding Lampard’s knack of turning tide in matches

https://theathletic.com/1901908/2020/07/01/chelsea-frank-lampard-substitutions-management/

GettyImages-1253090540-scaled-e1593523844441-1024x683.jpg

The decisive Frank Lampard substitutions that have powered Chelsea’s perfect start to English football’s resumption will come as no surprise to those familiar with his work at Derby.

Lampard’s first season in coaching was bookended by examples of how to positively impact matches from the dugout. In the 73rd minute of his very first game, poised at 1-1 away to Reading on the opening day of the 2018-19 Championship after Mason Mount had cancelled out Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s opener, he replaced veteran striker David Nugent with young winger Mason Bennett, who subsequently provided the cross for Tom Lawrence’s 94th-minute winner.

The most memorable example of all came at Elland Road in May 2019. Trailing 2-0 on aggregate against Leeds United in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final, Lampard introduced striker Jack Marriott for midfielder Duane Holmes a minute before half-time. He scored with his first touch and netted again after the interval as Derby roared back to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

But the moment that will probably resonate most with Mount, Reece James and Billy Gilmour after Sunday’s triple half-time hook away to Leicester City in the FA Cup can be found in the third round of Derby’s campaign in the same competition last season. Four minutes after Nathan Redmond had put Southampton 2-0 up early in the second half at Pride Park, Lampard took off teenage academy graduate Max Bird and replaced him with Nugent.

The introduction of a striker for a midfielder galvanised Derby. They came back to earn a 2-2 draw and force a replay, which they won on penalties at St Mary’s. “For Max Bird, he will play many more games,” Lampard insisted afterwards. “I feel bad for him because I had to change something to get us back into the game but it’s a great experience for him. He’s a really good young player and he will get more opportunities.”

Lampard delivered a very similar message after Chelsea’s win at the King Power Stadium last weekend. “Reece James hasn’t played for a long time, since lockdown,” he said. “Billy (Gilmour) was the same. These are contributing factors around it. They are going to be top players for this club no matter what. They are going to have top careers in football. They will have really, really top careers because of the players they are.

“Whether you can call it a learning experience; it was just a factor of how I saw the game. They can take it on board. They are all good lads, all train well and all have a good work ethic. I’ve never had a problem with the three of them at all. I’ve got no worries. It was just the circumstances today.”

Previous Chelsea managers would have faced more scrutiny for singling out three players aged 21 or younger for substitution, to be replaced by experienced internationals, at the end of a first half in which none of Lampard’s starters did themselves much credit. Yet it’s also fair to ask whether those same previous Chelsea managers would have shown such faith in youth in the first place when picking their team for an FA Cup quarter-final tie away to the team sitting third in the Premier League.

Lampard, in his management and messaging, is trying to strike the balance between holding all his players to the same standards of accountability and not discouraging the talented youngsters he has done so much to empower this season, all while keeping sight of Chelsea’s main priority: winning on the pitch in the defining stretch of the campaign.

Despite three imperfect performances since football resumed, it is a line he has walked impressively so far. Chelsea have preserved their pre-shutdown momentum in the Premier League — crowning Liverpool champions in the process — and will make a 10th FA Cup semi-final appearance in the last 19 years. All three matches were delicately poised in the second half, with Lampard’s interventions from the sidelines playing a key role in shifting the momentum in Chelsea’s favour.

Christian Pulisic came off the bench to spark the attack away to Aston Villa. Conversations with the manager during water breaks seemed to have a steadying effect in each half against Manchester City, with Tammy Abraham’s introduction just after the hour mark giving Pep Guardiola’s stretched defence problems. Ross Barkley made the decisive breakthrough against Leicester in place of Mount, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Mateo Kovacic helped prevent any late fightback from the home side.

Lampard admitted after the match that the increased five substitution limit had emboldened him to make a triple change at half-time. Chelsea reportedly led the lobby for the Premier League to adopt a rule that was always expected to benefit the bigger clubs and it’s easy to see why — what this squad lacks in elite talent, it makes up for in sheer variety and depth.

With virtually a clean bill of health for the first time this season, Lampard has more options than ever before to throw at a game that is going away from Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, feeling his way back after 13 months out of action, has not even played in his preferred central midfield position yet. Jorginho, brought off the bench to such great effect against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in December, is yet to play a minute since the restart. Neither is Michy Batshuayi, scorer of the most memorable cameo goal of the season to beat Ajax in Amsterdam back in October.

Lampard’s substitutions this season have yielded 10 direct goal involvements across all competitions — six goals and four assists. Six of those goal involvements have either brought Chelsea level or put them ahead in matches. There have, of course, also been plenty of occasions when reinforcements from the bench have not made a difference, most notably in damaging home defeats against West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton during a rollercoaster festive schedule.

The next five Premier League matches — against West Ham, Watford, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Norwich — will test Chelsea’s ability to break down the precise type of pragmatic opponent they have so often been stifled by this season. With more bodies and more substitutions available to Lampard, there will be even fewer credible excuses for the same old failings.

Some might argue that Lampard would not have needed to be so decisive with his substitutions over the past three matches if he had got his starting XI right. Chelsea were slow out of the blocks against Villa, City and Leicester, and were fortunate to only fall behind in one of them before the response arrived.

But team selection is never an exact science and the variance only increases when managers must navigate matches every three or four days across different competitions. Lampard insisted when he took the Chelsea job that he would pick his team based on tactical needs and the merits of training. He has stuck to those principles, even to the point of going with youth over experience. Any player, regardless of age, can have a bad day — and predicting one ahead of time isn’t always possible.

What managers can control is how they react to events on the pitch. Lampard forged a reputation at Derby as someone who could turn bad results into good ones with a willingness to be proactive and try things from the dugout. The fact that Chelsea are already benefiting from those qualities bodes well — for meeting this season’s objectives and for satisfying the club’s loftier ambitions beyond.

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On 29/06/2020 at 8:39 PM, Henrique said:

Lampard improved in recent games (even before the pandemic). At some point this season it seemed he was more concerned about developing young english players than anything. For example, he deployed Azpi as LB only to accommodate James on the starting XI. That didn't make sense, because Azpi still is a batter RB than James, but Azpi isn't a better LB than Alonso. Not to mention the privileges Mount receive for most part of the season, and even Barkley was given the "penalty taker" role in the beginning of the season.

In recent games he dropped most of those things, and he (re)introduced Giroud, Alonso and Pedro into the team. Yesterday against Leicester it was very telling the fact he dropped James, Gilmour and Mount during the half time. I'm also happy he didn't jump into Gilmour hype train and didn't rushed him into the first team. When the squad is full, there is no place for Gilmour on the first team yet. It seems he also realized Pulisic can't be sitting on the bench.

see, when you do serious posts they are quite good

salut  :hattip:

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On 29/06/2020 at 7:39 PM, Henrique said:

Lampard improved in recent games (even before the pandemic). At some point this season it seemed he was more concerned about developing young english players than anything. For example, he deployed Azpi as LB only to accommodate James on the starting XI. That didn't make sense, because Azpi still is a batter RB than James, but Azpi isn't a better LB than Alonso. Not to mention the privileges Mount receive for most part of the season, and even Barkley was given the "penalty taker" role in the beginning of the season.

In recent games he dropped most of those things, and he (re)introduced Giroud, Alonso and Pedro into the team. Yesterday against Leicester it was very telling the fact he dropped James, Gilmour and Mount during the half time. I'm also happy he didn't jump into Gilmour hype train and didn't rushed him into the first team. When the squad is full, there is no place for Gilmour on the first team yet. It seems he also realized Pulisic can't be sitting on the bench.

Azpi was used at LB because he was not satisfied with any of the left backs at his disposal which is a valid concern. Seeing as Azpi played there before and James (who's a great talent) can offer something going forward the decision was eventually made.

Barkley is a actually a very good PK taker. He missed, it happens even to the best. I don't rate him highly but he sure can shoot.

Anyone who thinks Mount is playing because of his passport... Honestly, I'm not even gonna bother with this one.

I agree with you on his exclusion of Giroud, Alonso and Pedro in the first half of the season. I think he knew he wanted to move them and decided it would be better to have someone else play their minutes if they were leaving anyway. Both Pedro and Giroud ended up remaining past the january window, and with injuries to key players he probably decided there was no valid reason not to give them more game time.

As for Pulisic, he recentely admitted he was very close to starting him vs Villa but ultimately decided it might be too early considering he hadn't played for months even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. He was only benched in the early part of the season beause he was clearly not at his best physically(no rest during the summer) and still needed time to adapt.

Lamps has his flaws, i'll give you that but certainly not the ones you mention. Te fact that so many people are agreeing with you is worrying.

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The water breaks and the 5 subs really play to Lampards strengths as a great reader of the game and motivator. He really has improved at being more cautious in his approach to games and grind out results. Still his insistence on Barkley and Mount is worrying. Surely he prefers them because of their work ethic and commitment to his tactics. But he must see that they are bang average players and should have squad roles here at best. 

kellzfresh and killer1257 like this

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13 hours ago, Magic Lamps said:

The water breaks and the 5 subs really play to Lampards strengths as a great reader of the game and motivator. He really has improved at being more cautious in his approach to games and grind out results. Still his insistence on Barkley and Mount is worrying. Surely he prefers them because of their work ethic and commitment to his tactics. But he must see that they are bang average players and should have squad roles here at best. 

Sadly you have to take that back after today's game.

Complete and utter mess from FL.

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i would just like to know which coaches idea was to put azpilicueta on a tall opponent while our tall attacker is guarding the goal line.

Supermonkey92 likes this

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Just now, whats happening said:

i would just like to know which coaches idea was to put azpilicueta on a tall opponent while our tall attacker is guarding the goal line.

 

The fact that Lampard didn't say anything about that after seeing this happen TWICE says it's him. The first time he got away with it with VAR, and he didn't even bother changing it.

Feck off FL on this shite, if we lose top 4 this game is one of the major reasons why.

Supermonkey92 likes this

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Whats the obsession with Lampard sidelining players out of the blue, Tomori and Jorginho, before Giroud and Alonso.

0007 likes this

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My expectations for the season and how i'm assessing Lampard have changed. Before the return i would have not had a negative word to say if we finished anywhere in the top 7 because i assumed we would carry on with the building process and if that came at the expense of top 4 then that's fair enough.

However now we've resorted to shit house selections and tactics he has to justify that by getting results, so top 4 and Cup final.

0007 and DDA like this

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Lamps needs to bench Kante asap. But he does not have the balls to do that.

Gesendet von meinem VOG-L29 mit Tapatalk

0007 likes this

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It's no wonder we can't defend at all when Lampard is saying things like this...

FUCKING HELL!

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41 minutes ago, whats happening said:

i would just like to know which coaches idea was to put azpilicueta on a tall opponent while our tall attacker is guarding the goal line.

It would be fine if it was Giroud or Drogba but Tammy isn't very good in the air. I don't think he would have dealt well defensively against Soucek and says a lot that he's zonal marking and not one of the man markers.

In my opinion Azpilicueta defended the goal pretty well given the size difference. It was hardly a bullet header and should have been comfortably dealt with by one of Kepa or Tammy.

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