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Chelsea preseason review: 3 positives and negatives from Lampard debut

Chelsea are poised to have a difficult campaign; Frank Lampard, a young and relatively inexperienced manager is at the helm, they've been unable to sign players due to a transfer ban and basically every top six team appears to be a step ahead of the Blues with regards to preparations for the new season.

Despite all of that, though, there's a sense of excitement surrounding Stamford Bridge as we're in for what could be a refreshingly different season for the Blues or one marred by poor results on the pitch and a disconnect between the manager and the players, like we've seen in the past.

Here's a look at some of the positives and negatives surrounding Chelsea going into the new season:



Positives

Low Expectations

Chelsea, by far, have the lowest expectations out of all the clubs that could potentially finish within the top six.

Nobody expects Chelsea to win the league, and whether the Blues can realistically finish within the top four with their current lineup is debatable.

The only thing Chelsea fans can do right now is hope for the best.

At this point, a top four finish will probably be akin to winning the league for Chelsea.

Chelsea's low expectations could see them have a Leicester-type season where they dominate the league whilst playing without fear, and maybe, just maybe, go all the way.

We've seen Chelsea do something just as extraordinary in the past when they managed to win the Champions League title despite having all the odds stacked against them, so perhaps we could see something similar in the 2019/2020 Premier League season.


New System

Whilst Chelsea's squad hasn't changed much since the 2018/19 season, the Blues will look completely different on the pitch thanks to Lampard's tactical philosophy which differs wildly from Maurizio Sarri's.

Having already shown his cards to the Premier League there would've been an element of unpredictability attached to Sarriball had Sarri remained at Chelsea, especially given the transfer ban the Blues currently face.

With Lampard currently at the helm, he'll be utilising Chelsea's players in a manner unfamiliar to Chelsea's rivals thus giving his side an element of unpredictability somewhat similar to what Antonio Conte enjoyed whilst utilising the short-lived 3-5-2 formation.

In the first few months of the season, Chelsea's opponents probably have little to no idea what to expect when they take to the pitch against the Blues as Lampard attempts to finalise his experimentation with players and his system.


Unity Amongst the Fans

Chelsea fans have always been a divided bunch.

Just a few months ago the club was divided into the 'Sarri Outs' and the 'Sarri Ins' but following Frank Lampard's arrival the club's supporters are more unified than they've been in a long time.

There were those who didn't want Lampard at the club due to his lack of experience, but now that he's got the role, Chelsea fans have welcomed him and pledged their support for the legendary midfielder ahead of what is expected to be a difficult season.

The unity amongst the fans will go a long way towards helping Chelsea through the near-impossible task of securing a top four finish and doing well in the Champions League with their current group of players.



Negatives

Uncertainty

Chelsea's current situation breeds a lot of uncertainty regarding what the future holds for them.

After losing Eden Hazard who almost single-handedly got the team out of a lot of difficult situations last season, Chelsea could struggle to find the back of the net against defensive-minded teams.

They could even struggle to find goals in general with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi set to battle it out for the chance to be Lampard's first choice striker.

All three strikers aren't exactly what you'd call first choice material; hence all Chelsea fans can really do is hope that one of them is able to find the back of the net on a consistent basis.


The transfer ban

Chelsea's transfer ban is their most obvious negative going into the new Premier League season as it will pretty much dictate every decision Frank Lampard will make throughout the course of the season.

At the moment, Chelsea's squad lacks depth.

Should one or two key players pick up injuries the Blues will find themselves in an impossible situation that could trigger somewhat of a rut, hence; at the very least Frank Lampard has to ensure that his key players remain fit all season long in a bid to avoid having to field a weakened side at any point.


Low expectations

Whilst Chelsea's low expectations might be a positive, it's also a huge negative as it would be easy to hide behind Chelsea's current conditions as an excuse for failure.

The fact that the Blues have relatively low expectations for the campaign could breed mediocrity and potentially hamper their chances of securing a spot in the top four.

It could also spill into their Champions League campaign and lead to an unsuccessful campaign on all fronts for Chelsea.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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