By Tim Harrison
In the middle of a high-pressure spell of five games in a fortnight, Frank Lampard is trying to keep his babes grounded.
Saturday’s league clash at Watford looks easy on paper, but it’s the kind of game where a desperate team can spring a surprise, and Lamps knows there’ll be bumps along the way as he builds a squad able to challenge at the top for a decade.
Yankee hat-trick hero Christian Pulisic’s display at Burnley finally explained the £58m price tag on someone who only turned 21 last month.
He was so excited that he needed prompting to collect the match ball from ref Michael Oliver.
The former Dortmund youth star is the most expensive American player of all time, and Lamps has had concerns about the price tag’s effect, conscious of the ballyhoo that surrounded his own 2001 switch from West Ham for £11m.
Blues fans love Pulisic. A surreal 'U-S-A, U-S-A' chant echoed around Turf Moor as they hailed Captain America’s perfect left/right/header hat-trick.
Pulisic (a household name in the States as the youngest ever national captain) models his play on Eden Hazard, and while he is yet to emulate the Belgian's slippery manoeuvrability, he already has the explosive five-yard sprint of his exalted predecessor, and the time to develop further.
"I'm delighted for him," said the Chelsea gaffer. The Blues are on the brink of equalling the club record, set in 1989, for consecutive away wins.
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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