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Super Frank Lampard *Officially our Manager*

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I'm pretty sure he takes the blames on him, there is no other way for him, he knows that.

Time is needed here, I know it sometimes hard because today's loss was awful, but I'm still optimistic. He's building something new, he also needs his time as a manager on this stage. 

We still have January, we still have a long road to go through. I really hope we will turn up against Spurs, big derby against Mourinho.

 

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2 minutes ago, Valerie said:

Why would we care about "people, especially the media"? Of course we're the only ones excited about a legend coach and our youth, did you think we would instigate a love-in of Scouserish levels?

Anyway, with an inexperienced manager and a handful of youngsters we were never going to to challenge for those big trophies this season, and probably not next season either. It may have looked so wonderful for a few weeks in September/October, but we see now where we really stand: a lot of work to do, and in need of reinforcements. The job came too early for Lampard, but he's here now and he is learning.

At the start of the season I thought we would finish 6th, I still think that.

Yes. I agree. I originally felt that top 4 was unrealistic this season. A good run in September/October combined with other teams struggling perhaps raised some hopes but it looks like things are settling back into place now. That might change if we pick up some improvements to the squad in January but that window is always difficult. I am sticking by 6th as a prediction.

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2 minutes ago, forbzy said:

Yes. I agree. I originally felt that top 4 was unrealistic this season. A good run in September/October combined with other teams struggling perhaps raised some hopes but it looks like things are settling back into place now. That might change if we pick up some improvements to the squad in January but that window is always difficult. I am sticking by 6th as a prediction.

Honestly, 6th is not good enough consiering the squad we have, especially if Leicester, Arsenal, Utd do better than us with their squads. We will be setting a precendent for mediocrity when we should be doing much better. 

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Goalkeeper inconsistent, doesnt command area.

Full back areas just dont seem right to me.

Centre backs are all good but not great, although i like the promise of zouma/tomori with rudiger.

Centre midfield is okay, but i would only ever start 2 of the 3, unless it was a tough fixture against a top side.

Attacking midfield is really poor. Mount will probably go on to be a very good footballer, but right now, he doesn't offer enough. Very rarely produces a killer pass and his finishing isnt clinical. We need a better number 10.

Wingers, bit like the centre backs, some good players, but none have proven to be consistant match winners, pulisic looks promising.

Strikers, i think abraham has done brilliantly, and has been the best one to step up. Just needs to work on his heading. 

The squad is lacking quality all over the pitch.

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2 minutes ago, enigma said:

Honestly, 6th is not good enough consiering the squad we have, especially if Leicester, Arsenal, Utd do better than us with their squads. We will be setting a precendent for mediocrity when we should be doing much better. 

Considering we lost Hazard and had no option to bring in new players I think 6th is very reasonable honestly.

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1 minute ago, enigma said:

Honestly, 6th is not good enough consiering the squad we have, especially if Leicester, Arsenal, Utd do better than us with their squads. We will be setting a precendent for mediocrity when we should be doing much better. 

6th isnt bad imo. I still feel like we can make 4th if we manage to get someone good in January, but 6th wouldn't be bad given the circumstances of our season. That is, losing our best player, a transfer ban, and several youth players still developing. Man utd, Spurs and Arsenal on the other hand have no excuses to finish out of the top 4. We've exceeded expectations this season by being 4th at this point of the season they on the other hand haven't.

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17 minutes ago, enigma said:

Honestly, 6th is not good enough consiering the squad we have, especially if Leicester, Arsenal, Utd do better than us with their squads. We will be setting a precendent for mediocrity when we should be doing much better. 

I think the complete opposite. Compare this seasons squad and situation to last and you will see why.

1) We lost Hazard, our best player of the last decade by a distance. Without him, we don't get top 4, we would have been lucky to finish top 6.

2) Transfer ban. We were in desperate need of new players. CB, LB, RB, RW, ST, all of these positions needs new players. We have only partially sorted ST and RB with Abraham and James being added to the team.

3) Loaned out players like Zouma and Batshuayi had to be bought back. Zouma was relegated with Stoke 2 seasons ago and struggled for half of the season with Everton last season. Batshuayi is a system player, and certainly not somebody that looks good enough for a team looking to compete with the best.

4) Young players had to be rushed into the squad because of the transfer ban.

5) Many senior players weren't good enough last season, and now that they are a year older, they aren't going to get any better.

6) None of our best players from the previous season were available from the start. Hazard is gone, Rudiger has just returned from injury, nearly 4 months into the season. The whole season seems to be a write off for Loftus-Cheek. Kante has only recenty returned after struggling with a knee injury that he has had since the end of last season, which is clearly having a negative effect on his and our season because he looks nothing like the old Kante.

 

I do think we should be playing a bit better than we have been playing in the last few weeks though. I don't really understand why our tempo has dropped and we have suddenly started playing like Sarri's team again.

Edited by Scott Harris

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I'd respect him a lot if he drops Kante so that Kante gets a better rest and build his form back slowly. Ever since he's been back, he has been a step behind the play to put it mildly

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55 minutes ago, jack_super_class said:

Spurs and Arsenal in the next 3 games. Bad time to hit bad form.

These losses we could take as we still have a decent amount of points. But losing the next game would be really, really bad.

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6 minutes ago, Gol15 said:

These losses we could take as we still have a decent amount of points. But losing the next game would be really, really bad.

If Spurs and Utd overtake us in the next few weeks i dont see us coming back. A bit like when we go 1-0 down, we never come back.

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Now is a testing time for Frank now that we are able to buy players again.

Does he keep faith with youngsters who are doing great so far but look like they are starting to feel the effects of a long season in the EPL.

Or does he try and tweak it with a couple of signings to freshen things up and get our season back on track.

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40 minutes ago, 2211 said:

Now is a testing time for Frank now that we are able to buy players again.

Does he keep faith with youngsters who are doing great so far but look like they are starting to feel the effects of a long season in the EPL.

Or does he try and tweak it with a couple of signings to freshen things up and get our season back on track.

It's a hard one as I think it is clear that we do need to strengthen. As much as Lamps will want to show loyalty to the players who were doing so well, form has dropped off and we do need more competition for places and improve on quality of options. But of course Lamps knows that he has been getting, and will continue to get more time and patience from the Board, all the time he is playing a relatively inexperienced, young side. He will know that if he splashes the cash and we get some big signings, if the results don't improve then he will be put under a great deal more pressure so he has to be pretty certain that any signings WILL improve us. 

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I think the limitations of our squad make things harder for Lamps, even though he carries his share of the blame for the recent string of performances/results. We could really use someone like RLC in the middle but he's still out, which is incredibly frustrating. Mount has been struggling as of late but Barkley's out injured so Frank has to keep picking the youngster. I think Kante hasn't been the same this season, perhaps he still can't get his form back after time out with injury. Kovacic and Jorginho are looking knackered because they've been asked to do too much for too long, the rotation doesn't work because other midfielders either lack experience (Mount), not at their best at the moment (Kante) or out injured (RLC, Barkley).

Wingers are a mixed bag. Pulisic turned things around after a dreadful start and is looking the best of the bunch at the moment. I've already said plenty about CHO and his questionable attitude, he needs to work much harder, Chelsea isn't the place you can survive on potential very long. Willian is his usual frustrating self, does some things well but far too often the end product is lacking. Pedro is finished. 

Our current backline is the worst we've had since Roman's arrival back in 2003. How telling it is that we were desperate for someone like Rudiger to return from injury asap, a solid pro, but not a world class CB by any stretch of imagination. Tomori is young and raw, Christensen's weak in all possible meanings of the word and Zouma is midtable level at best. The fullbacks are shocking, Azpi used to be a defensive beast, but a non-factor going forward, now he's poor at both ends. Emerson is the type of a footballer, who's seemingly decent but on a closer look does nothing well, he just moves a bit forward, receives the ball and passes it right back, rinse and repeat. The only full back who can put in a good cross is young James, but he's still learning how to defend properly. Alonso is actually the most dangerous fullback going forward, but he's so slow and pathetic at the other end, he's our biggest liability in that position. 

Kepa has been in a dire form as of late and has the rest of the season to prove he wasn't the biggest waste of money in recent history. A better/younger keeper than Caballero should be bought in the summer in any case and Kepa should compete for the starting place because he sure as hell hasn't earned it at the moment.

Abraham surprised me. I thought he was going to struggle to lead the line but he looked like a seasoned veteran from day one. There are still things to work on and a long way to go, but both his performances and his attitude have been tremendous. Giroud and Michy are not of the required standard and need to be replaced to give Tammy a real competition for playing time though.

 

Edited by abramovich

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I think we have to acknowledge that Lampard has so far this season, over performed. At the start of the season, we all would have taken being in 4th and through to the next round of the CL. Things could have been ALOT worse. Honestly, I was dreading this season but Lampard has done a fantastic job so far. 
 

However he needs to be careful that results and performances don’t continue to slip. We haven’t won a game convincingly since the start of November. The ones we have won, we could have easily dropped points. 
 

I do wonder if our only hope is to go into the transfer market and get a couple of new signings to freshen things up. 

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3 hours ago, Scott Harris said:

I think the complete opposite. Compare this seasons squad and situation to last and you will see why.

1) We lost Hazard, our best player of the last decade by a distance. Without him, we don't get top 4, we would have been lucky to finish top 6.

2) Transfer ban. We were in desperate need of new players. CB, LB, RB, RW, ST, all of these positions needs new players. We have only partially sorted ST and RB with Abraham and James being added to the team.

3) Loaned out players like Zouma and Batshuayi had to be bought back. Zouma was relegated with Stoke 2 seasons ago and struggled for half of the season with Everton last season. Batshuayi is a system player, and certainly not somebody that looks good enough for a team looking to compete with the best.

4) Young players had to be rushed into the squad because of the transfer ban.

5) Many senior players weren't good enough last season, and now that they are a year older, they aren't going to get any better.

6) None of our best players from the previous season were available from the start. Hazard is gone, Rudiger has just returned from injury, nearly 4 months into the season. The whole season seems to be a write off for Loftus-Cheek. Kante has only recenty returned after struggling with a knee injury that he has had since the end of last season, which is clearly having a negative effect on his and our season because he looks nothing like the old Kante.

 

I do think we should be playing a bit better than we have been playing in the last few weeks though. I don't really understand why our tempo has dropped and we have suddenly started playing like Sarri's team again.

Agree. We would really be punching above our weight if we finished 4th. Clubs with a better squad than us:

Liverpool

Man City

Tottenham

Man U

Leicester

 

Leicester could just be punching massively above their weight too but I’m not sure. On the other hand, there may be others that are debatable like Arsenal. So on balance, there would be no great shame in coming 6th. But yeah - current run of form is concerning and the current trajectory would take us to well below 6th. we shouldn’t extrapolate too much though. Form comes and goes. We should still put our faith in Lampard to fix this. Tottenham would be a great start- at this stage, I just want to see a good performance.

 

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I think quite the opposite; I think we are way underperforming what we'd be if Sarri were still here, while we sit 4th, we still have 2 left vs Tottenham and Arsenal. We had 1 loss last year against bottom half teams. Mount is not technical enough to be a 10 in a 4-2-3-1 at this level, his first touch is too loose and he gets in other players way, he's always looking to leave his space as it's too tight for him. To me he's been so bad the last few games I think we would have performed better playing with 10, and unclogging that space.

We gave up a 39 goals / in 38 games in the premier league last year, with Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger , Azpi and Kepa as our core.

Frank has had all of those players at his disposal, he doesn't rate Alonso and let Luiz walk, yet we've been much much worse, having given up 25 in 17 matches. Now instead of complaing of Luiz and Alonso, people complain of Kepa and Azpi, no less than a year later. Under Sarri, they were our saving graces. Maybe it's the style of play and organization. And maybe Frank should rate technique a little higher and grit a little lower.

Truth be told we should be able to improve on last year's defensive performance as Sarri tried to open it up and play at Man City.

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Read Lamps view of the team today, a crisis of identity already, he's got to realise how the team played, when everyone was fawning over our bright new young things, most important buy is a Goalscorer to put some heat on Tammy, Werner of leipzig for me.

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The form slump since the international break is a concern. The losses to out of form sides in West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth is annoying and has dragged us back into a dogfight to retain our top 4 position.

I've seen enough from Frank so far that we'll be fine in the long-term future, but I suspect more pain will be ahead in the short term. That's why I think Frank and the club are under no illusion that January is going to be very important in replenishing the squad and refreshing it for the second half of the season.

For context, Frank's record after 26 games in all competitions is not too dissimilar to other current managers' first 26 games in charge of a "top six" club. It goes to show that Rome was not built in a day. All great projects take time.

  • Frank Lampard = 13 Wins, 5 Draws, 8 Losses (44 points)
  • Jurgen Klopp = 12 Wins, 8 Draws, 6 Losses (44 points)
  • Pep Guardiola = 15 Wins, 6 Draws, 5 Losses (51 Points)
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer = 16 Wins, 2 Draws, 8 Losses (50 Games)

The aim will still be a top 4 spot, which will easily surpass the expectations of most supporters if it's achieved. 6th will be about on par and enough to keep persisting with Frank into next season and helping him strengthen the squad.

As it stands, we're still in a top 4 spot albeit the gap is narrowing and we qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League which is a great result for a young squad like ours. If we advance past the last 16, it will be a great achievement considering we've only got past this stage once since winning the Champions League in 2012 which was in Mourinho's first season back with us (2013/2014) when we made the Semi Final and lost to Atletico Madrid.

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The rest of the month is not going to get any easier for Frank. 2 big London Derbies and another home game against a team desperate for points. Of course it would be great to get back to winning ways at Spurs next week but there is also a lot of pride at stake for the fans. I am hoping we can at least put in a good showing there with a performance to build on. Apart from the Everton game we have generally looked more comfortable away from home in recent weeks. Maybe less pressure and also more suited to play on the counter. Key is we need to start well and hopefully get our noses in front.

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