The 2020/21 Premier League season will see clubs and managers face lots of criticisms, and this is already the case after a few games into the season.
One of the bearers of major criticisms this season will surely be Chelsea boss Frank Lampard with regards to the defensive mediocrity of his side thus far.
The Chelsea backline have been poor thus far with just one clean sheet and major average performances in defense.
The clean sheet was not even down to the Blues’ defensive prowess but to Willy Caballero’s decent show against Championship side Barnsley that created some good chances in the EFL Cup game.
The veteran Argentine shot-stopper was hailed after the game but saw himself conceding three goals in the first 30 minutes of the Premier League game against newly-promoted side West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
My guess is that Kepa would have thanked the heavens that he wasn’t the one between the sticks for Chelsea on the day. This was a side that had conceded 8 and won none of their last 2 Premier League games before meeting the Blues.
When a team of Chelsea’s quality on paper concedes three goals in the first 30 minutes of the game against a poor newly-promoted side like West Brom, then there is a major problem.
Chelsea goalie Kepa Arrrizabalaga has been heavily criticized for his shaky hands between the sticks, including the defenders. However, the bulk of the blame should go to Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.
It can be recalled that the Blues conceded lots of goals last season. They conceded the most goals amongst the final top 10 of the 2019/20 season and this was a cause for concern.
The Blues scored 69 goals and conceded a whopping 54 goals in return. They ended last season with a goal difference of 15, the lowest amongst the top 5 and this was not a welcome development.
They’ve started conceding goals more often than expected for a side of their quality this season already. If this trend continues, it could be worse than that of last season and the defensive performances thus far is a pointer that no clean sheet is in view for the Blues yet.
They face Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this Saturday and it is expected that the visitors will find the back of the net.
An upset could even be on the cards considering that Roy Hodgson’s men have already done a giant-killing this season with the 3:1 defeat of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
It’s obvious that Frank Lampard has failed to address the defensive woes at Chelsea and the players are being made to be scapegoats although the likes of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger, amongst others haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory.
Chelsea have signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes to provide competition for Kepa while Rudiger is being linked with a move away from the club. It can be recalled that the Germany international was easily the best central defender at the club some seasons back.
I daresay, he hasn’t turned average suddenly and it’s all down to the system. Frank Lampard has to devise a means to improve the defensive solidity of his team. He should be the one getting the sticks and not the players.
Even the legendary Thiago Silva gave away a goal on his debut against West Brom. The defenders seem too error-prone under the English manager and this is no mere coincidence.
For a manager who pays more attention to attack, his side have also struggled to break down teams as expected in these early stages of the season.
Regardless, Frank Lampard’s system is the problem here as there are pointers that even the players that have been brought in cannot remedy the side’s lackadaisical performance in defense.
Therefore, Frank Lampard should be blamed and not the players in my opinion.