In his first season as Chelsea manager Frank Lampard did, believe it or not, defy all expectations. With a squad stripped of their best player, Eden Hazard, and unable to replace or sign players thanks to a FIFA Transfer Ban, Super Frank performed miracles.
The situation itself certainly wasn’t ideal, but this provided the perfect opportunity to “reset”. Frank Lampard was brought in, knowing this provided the perfect opportunity to integrate the clubs endless supply of youth players. Lampard and his team did this to perfection, securing Top 4 as well as coming close to an FA Cup trophy.
Many would’ve been surprised to see Lampard still at the club in August 2020, but he performed a tough task with great success and has been rewarded for his efforts with the full backing of the club in the transfer window. The additions of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and soon Kai Havertz mean the standards at Chelsea Football Club are going to go up a level into this season.
Next seasons squad will be a mix of experienced players, new signings and the youth players that were so crucial in putting Chelsea into this position where they can now splash the cash. So, without further ado, let’s set some realistic expectations for this squad and Frank Lampard next season.
For me, the best indication of clear improvement in this squad is where they finish in the league. Last season, Chelsea finished 33 points behind Liverpool, this cannot happen again. This gap needs to be closed massively, Chelsea need to be aiming for at least 80 points in the league next season, leaving the Europa places as far behind them as possible. At no point should finishing fifth or sixth be a remote concern.
The Premier League finish will the be the best way of measuring exactly where this squad is in terms of its development. As great as a cup always is, there is an enormous amount of luck in how they turn out. You could get drawn away at Manchester City, Liverpool or Manchester United and as soon as that happens, you’re always going to be facing an uphill battle to stay in a competition, The Champions League is a little different, by finishing first in your group you do potentially give yourself a more favourable draw in the knockouts. Again though, this is luck. Chelsea will be looking to progress to at least the quarter finals this year providing they don’t draw one of the heavyweights. Alongside this, a cup final would represent a fantastic season.
With so many additions to the squad this summer, you cannot expect the team to gel immediately. As good as all the attacking talent is, it will take time for them to get used to each other. I think Late November/December is when we will get a real idea of just how good this side is going forward. Defensively there is a huge amount of work to be done, but I firmly believe the additions of Anthony Barry and Thiago Silva will make a huge difference to this side and fix a few of the issues. Keeper is still an issue that must be addressed, but the club know this is a clear weakness and they will certainly address this.
All in all, this is a hugely exciting period to be following Chelsea Football Club. The backing of Frank Lampard has been extraordinary this summer and this current project has a huge amount of potential. Chelsea will establish themselves among the elite of Europe in the years to come, next year will be represent a crucial step in taking the club back there.
What are your expectations for next season? Let us know in the comments below!