Frank Lampard era begins at Chelsea: new boss sets the bar high for his squad

Blues manager is happy with how pre-season has started at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard watches his side in action against Bohemians in Dublin
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard watches his side in action against Bohemians in Dublin 
(Image credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images )

The Frank Lampard reign at Chelsea began with a 1-1 draw against the Irish side Bohemians on Wednesday night.

The Blues went ahead through Michy Batshuayi before the home side levelled late on through Eric Molloy at Dalymount Park in Dublin.

In exactly one month, on 11 August, Chelsea open their Premier League campaign with a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United, and the loosener against Bohemians was therefore a good occasion for Lampard to run an eye over his squad.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

All change

In the weeks since they thrashed Arsenal to win the Uefa Europa League, Chelsea have waved goodbye to star player Eden Hazard (who’s joined Real Madrid) and manager Maurizio Sarri, now in charge at Juventus.

Those two departures will require considerable adjustment for Chelsea, and Lampard’s immediate concern is getting his charges battle-hardened ahead of the new season.

“I have a way of working that can be taxing on the players and we wanted to get straight into it... I want to stretch them because that’s what pre-season is all about,” said Lampard, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Championship side Derby County.

“We want fitness and intensity in our game. I’m happy not just with how they’ve practically done things but with their attitude in taking everything on.”

To the limit

Asked if he was disappointed with the result, Lampard replied in the negative, stressing the priority of getting the summer break out of the players’ system.

“We wanted to win because you always do but it’s not about that at this point,” he said. “It’s about individuals getting fit and pushing themselves to the limit.

“We haven’t been back for long and this was our first game after just a few days so there was a bit of pressure on the lads to work.”

High standards

Lampard won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during his 13 years as a player with Chelsea. However, he knows that he won’t be accorded much of a honeymoon period at the Bridge.

Way off the pace in last season’s title race, the Blues will be expected to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool and the addition of Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic will help in that regard.

“We do have a deep enough squad for the top four,” said Lampard. “I played here for many years and I know there are standards.

“Do we want to be playing Champions League football year-in, year-out? Yes, for sure, and that is something that should drive us all on - myself and the players included.”

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.