Chelsea’s start to life under Frank Lampard has reflected the transitional nature of a club operating under a new template with an inexperienced manager, an influx of young players and a transfer ban.
As the club prepares for Sunday’s Premier League home fixtures against Liverpool, i tend to ask. What are its targets in this unfamiliar territory? How are they reshaping under club’s legend, Lampard?
Chelsea’s bosses are always briefed to get towards the end of the season. Conversely, it is done in contention for the major trophies and the Champions League places.
In addition, this year, irrespective of Lampard’s relative inexperience and a transition accelerated by the transfer ban, this will be the aim again.
Chelsea may be in transition. However, the owner, Roman Abramovich is not lowering his sights.
The difference between the Champions League and Europa League football is about £60m at the bottom line.
Lampard is aware of the demands and he embraces them. While this may be true, Abramovich is desperate for him to succeed but will not be over-sentimental.
There is an understanding among the club and its supporters that this is a different Chelsea. The level of goodwill and patience Lampard is being given was exemplified by the relatively warm reception they received from the home fans after losing to Valencia.
Former Chelsea winger, Pat Nevin believes the club and its supporters will simultaneously realize the parameters have changed.
“I don’t think it will be different this season and the club along its fans will understand that.” He said.
“They have lost their best player in Eden Hazard and are not capable of buying anyone else. They have a lot of young players and a young new manager. On top of it all, they want to change the play style completely.”
“Frank will get far more leash. There are acceptance and understanding of that. Walking out of the game on Tuesday, having lost at home in the Champions League, people were shrugging their shoulders and the reception was warm.”
This is Chelsea and for all the talk of understanding and patience, ambition is as high as ever. Lampard knew it as a player and does as a manager.