When Lampard was appointed in the summer, many people’s expectations were relatively low. There were rumors that even the ever ruthless Roman Abramovich would be willing to give the Chelsea hero time to rebuild the squad.
With a transfer ban and the loss of last seasons POTY Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, fans were rightfully worried. There was no replacement coming in, and it was an uncertain time at Stamford Bridge.
However, things could hardly have gone better. Chelsea sit comfortably inside the top four, and a team full of youthful exuberance has taken the league by storm. So, from where Chelsea are at now, what would be seen as a successful first season under Frank Lampard.
The first thing that springs to mind is finishing in the top four, and with that, Champions League qualification. Chelsea have proven that they are one of the best sides in the league, and were unlucky in the narrow defeat to last seasons title winners Manchester City.
The Blues are seven points clear of 5th place Wolves and are looking good for a top-four finish at the moment. However, it’s a long season, and there is a lot of football left to be played.
Onto the other competitions. The club will want to see Lampard’s team progress through their group in the Champions League. This is well within their reach. A win against Valencia would put them within touching distance of the knockout stages.
Although the hierarchy would like to progress to the latter stages, reaching the knockout stages would likely be enough.
The FA Cup is a competition Lampard has a particular connection with. He scored in finals and played a key role in multiple triumphs. Chelsea should be looking to get to the final stages of the FA Cup and perhaps even win it.
If Chelsea finish in the top four and perform respectively in the other competitions, perhaps reaching the Champions League last-16 and the FA Cup Semi-Finals, no one could argue that Lampard’s first season at the club had been a roaring success.