Paul Merson believes Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will be pulling off a great achievement if his side finish in the top four of the Premier League, but has highlighted some errors he’s made this season.
The Blues legend took charge as manager in the summer amid a transfer ban at the time and he’s heavily promoted youth from within, which is a real credit to the academy at Stamford Bridge.
His team sit fourth in the league table as it stands and will pull clear if they manage to beat Manchester United and Tottenham in their next two league fixtures, but defeats will leave them right up against it.
Pundit Merson is overall a big fan of Lampard’s impact following his return to Chelsea, but feels the inexperienced boss has made a few tactical errors at times this season.
Merson has claimed the front-foot approach has been a little extreme at times and has cost a few results.
“I’m going to be there to see them take on Manchester United – and if they win that one and then beat Tottenham they will finish in the top four,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.
“That would be a huge achievement for Frank Lampard in his first season, after selling a world class player in Eden Hazard and not replacing him, and playing with a young team.
“He’s made some mistakes. He’s chased too many games when he hasn’t needed to and ended up throwing points away, and they have struggled at home a bit.
“That will come with experience. But at least you can see a plan. They have gone with younger players and they are building something.”
Lampard isn’t the finished article yet as a manger, but you’ll find it very hard to find a supporter who doesn’t love the club’s ex-midfielder and he will be given plenty of time to achieve success.
It’s worth noting he’s only taking charge of his second year in management, after guiding Derby County to the play-offs in the Championship last year during his first campaign in charge at senior level.
There is certainly a structure coming to place under him and the summer arrival of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax indicates the attacking style of player Lampard wants to enforce.
Meanwhile, Merson raises a fair point that the home form needs to improve and it’s something they have the chance to put right in their next two fixtures.