The win at Carrow Road will have given Chelsea and Frank Lampard lots of confidence but it all came down crashing when Sheffield United managed to steal a point from their trip to Stamford Bridge last weekend. This has left Chelsea with just five points from their first four games.
They will have to work really hard to break into the top-4 and if they do not improve, they could well drop out of the top-6 places in the league, come the end of the season. So they should do something quickly to change the tide and have a couple of weeks, thanks to the international break for the coaching staff to take stock of the situation. They do have star players out on international duty but here are three things Lampard needs to do after this break, to get his side back to winning ways:
Lampard Has To Find The Right CB Partnership
Lampard replaced Andreas Christensen with young Fikayo Tomori, who was decent in spells against The Blades. However, he and Kurt Zouma as a partnership was no better than what it was with the Dane at the back. The manager now also has Antonio Rudiger fit and ready to break into the first team, giving Lampard options for the rest of the season.
Zouma and Rudiger could be a decent partnership at the back but Tomori and Christensen have not done too much wrong to be sacked from the first team. So Lampard needs to use this break to find the right defensive combination that can win him games and give them some consistency.
Creativity In Midfield
While Chelsea have some of the finest midfielders on show, they do not have variety in their options. Both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are world-class midfielders, who add stability to the midfield. Both players can win the ball back in dangerous areas and set up their side on the attack consistently.
However, neither player is adept at creating chances in the final third, something which Mateo Kovacic also finds hard to do. In a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 system, Chelsea need two of these three names to start, making them a strong side to cut through at the back. But this will mean that they have just four players in attacking roles, which has often been the problem. The absence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek has certainly had an impact on Lampard’s plans while Ross Barkley has only been preferred in an attacking role.
So, unless Chelsea find a way to add creativity to their midfield, they will continue to struggle, especially against sides that are happy to sit back and defend for long periods. Changing to a 4-1-4-1 could solve a few issues and these are issues Lampard needs to solve in this break.
Play To Pulisic’s Strength
While Tammy Abraham has found some form, Chelsea’s record signing Christian Pulisic has not exactly set the league on fire. With just an assist to show for his 277 minutes of league football, the USA international needs to step up his game after the international break. But Lampard also needs to make sure that Pulisic receives the ball in areas he can be more effective.
The Blues look disjointed at times, leaving Pulisic and Abraham isolated up top. So, unless Lampard finds a way to use the pace of Pulisic, Chelsea will struggle to dominate games. Pulisic may not be as good as the player he replaced in Eden Hazard but he has similar responsibilities in this Chelsea squad. So, he needs the kind of service that allows him to have enough impact on games.