Frank Lampard was given a rude awakening as he stood by and watched his Chelsea side get thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United in his first game as manager of the club.
As Lampard walked towards the away end after that very early and clear rude awakening yesterday, he must have felt relaxed hearing the Blue faithful sing ‘Super Frankie Lampard’ as they tried to cheer their legend and new manager.
Two things to take away from the game at Old Trafford yesterday; one being that there was much work to be done, and the other, the positive , more comforting sign of the fans singing his name, giving him the indication that he has them on his side. Well, at least for now.
It was always going to be difficult for a young, up and coming manager, going into his second season in management with neither the team’s best player- for the last 3 seasons at least – nor a worthy replacement due to a ban that to be fair,had nothing to do with him.
The subsequent loss of David Luiz to rivals Arsenal on deadline day worsened the case. Especially on a side that was already struggling with injuries.
With a trip to Old Trafford 3 days away, it wasn’t an ideal position to be in.
With all these and a bit of injuries and fitness issues, Lampard put faith in his young team, those he has worked with in the last 6 weeks in pre season and they didn’t cover themselves in glory.
You can argue about fine margins with Tammy Abraham and Emerson hitting the woodwork or Abraham arriving late to a Mason Mount cross.
These are key points in the game that could have changed the story totally but for most part of the game, the inexperience of the youngsters and the disorganisation in the defence of Chelsea was glaring.
Zouma had a nightmare on his first start after returning from loan. His communication with Christensen was poor and Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, the more experienced of the 4 could not lead.
In midfield, Chelsea were missing Kante who was only deemed fit enough for the bench.
Maurizio Sarri took the risk and started a half fit Ngolo Kante in the Europa league final against Arsenal last May and it paid off. With time, Lampard is going to learn to take such risks and many more.
He can take some solace in the first 20 minutes especially, where there were some good moments .
However, the result sends a clear message to the Chelsea manager; If he hadn’t already realised yet, the task ahead is not an easy one.
Ole’s at the wheel
Many Manchester United fans did not hide their displeasure at their club’s transfer business in the last week of the window.
Losing Lukaku to Inter and not replacing him was as big a blow and missing out on Dybala, Mandzukic and Eriksen further raised some questions at Old Trafford.
Solksjaer, however, answered the fans the best way he should, by performing on the pitch.
It wasn’t all that easy as Chelsea were by a mile the better side in the opening stages of the game. Ole admitted this in his post game interview saying, ‘We hung in there a little bit’. The manager will above all be most impressed with how very well his new defensive recruits fit in perfectly.
It is a brilliant start for United and they would be looking to build on this victory.
Bonus : Liverpool and City off to a flyer
Liverpool and Manchester City both cruised to big wins over the weekend.
Liverpool and City light work of Norwich and West Ham respectively with Liverpool beating the newcomers 4-1 and West Ham losing 5-0 to Manchester City.
The top 2 from last season have set the pace and made their intentions clear and if last season is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting run.
Pick of the week
Manchester United debutant Daniel James came from the bench in his league and home debut and got himself on the score sheet within few minutes.
The young 21 year old was over the moon as he got off the mark. He dedicated his goal to his late father, a man who adored Manchester United but passed away just before his son could complete his move to Old Trafford.
The passion displayed and the way his teammates read the moment and understood what it meant to him and duly supported him was just a surreal moment and another reason why we love this game.