Pat Nevin impressed by the nerve of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard
Pat Nevin has applauded a recent piece of in-game management from Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who watched his side beat West Ham 3-0 on Monday night in the Premier League.
The Blues are sat fifth in the league table over Christmas, with a trip to the Emirates Stadium next on Boxing Day to face struggling London rivals Arsenal.
It was vital that Chelsea secured three points against West Ham after two consecutive defeats and Nevin believes that manager Lampard showed his nerve during the contest.
He decided to recall 23-year-old striker Tammy Abraham to the XI and he repaid the faith with two late goals, but there may have been a temptation to make a substitution earlier when the game was poised at 1-0.
“He could have gone for Olivier Giroud or indeed Timo Werner up top but he decided that Tammy Abraham was the one needed for this crucial one,” Nevin told the club’s official website.
“Tammy got a brace of course to relieve the pressure on the night, but an even bigger call was to leave him on as late as he did. The goals after 78 and 80 minutes showed a steely nerve from the manager. The temptation to twist must have been powerful but he decided to stick up front and he got his reward.”
It’s easy to forget that this is only Lampard’s third season as a manager, with his first year in charge of Derby County in the Championship.
He showed great managerial prowess to drive the Blues to a top four finish last season despite plenty of doubters and now the pressure has cranked up on him this campaign to be in the mix for silverware, after a big summer of spending in the transfer window.
There are signs that he’s developing into a top manager and how he uses his squad effectively during a hectic fixture schedule is important.