Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and captain Cesar Azpilicueta

Frankie Lampard’s babes



Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (left) and captain Cesar Azpilicueta. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

You can’t win anything with kids, said Alan Hansen, after Man United’s youngsters were beaten on opening day, 24 years ago. The team went on to win the league and FA Cup that season.

It’s highly unlikely Frankie Lampard’s babes will repeat that feat, but it means that last weekend’s painful 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford – leaving the Blues in unfamiliar relegation territory, if briefly – has to be put in context.

Chelsea hit the woodwork twice, and dominated the match for long spells. “It wasn’t a 4-0 game,” said a slightly shellshocked Lamps afterwards... and he was right.

But for all Mason Mount’s turbo-charged drives down the wing, and Tammy Abraham’s quick-footed turns and goal attempts, this was a disjointed performance by the boys from SW6.

The new manager knew he was taking on a monumental task, integrating inexperience into a side shorn of its one glittering talent, Eden Hazard.

It’s easy to come out with phrases like ‘take the positives’, yet there was encouragement to take.

Somehow, ahead of Leicester City’s visit to the Bridge this Sunday, that scoreline from Old Trafford has to be wiped from the collective mind.

The one big worry for Lampard and his sidekick Jody Morris is Kurt Zouma’s uncertain showing in central defence. He is no David Luiz, and with a transfer ban in place, some serious rethinking is needed in that department.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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