Has Frank Lampard's youth revolution come at a price for Chelsea?
Frank Lampard has led a youth revolution at Chelsea with the emergence of academy products in the team, but has it come at the price of a mentality issue?
Lampard has given first-team debuts to eight academy graduates this season, pushing the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Billy Gilmour into the spotlight.
With a permanent deal for Mateo Kovacic the only signing he has had this season, sitting in fourth-place is not a bad accomplishment despite a huge gap with the league leaders Liverpool.
But if Chelsea plan to challenge for trophies next season, the former England midfielder has to make a significant improvement in dealing with the situations where they are behind in games.
Struggling after being behind
According to Transfermarkt, Chelsea have managed to make a comeback in just one of 12 games where they conceded first.
It is five points (one win and two draws) out of a possible 36; the joint fifth-worst in the Premier League.
The only comeback they have recorded this season was the important away game against London rivals Arsenal in December. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead, but two late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham handed Chelsea the three points.
It was a remarkable victory. But once in 12 attempts is far from enough.
A need for a new leader?
Chelsea have lost some important leaders in recent years. Didier Drogba, John Terry, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Petr Cech and Lampard himself were all instrumental figures on the pitch.
Although Chelsea still have senior stars such as Cesar Azpilicueta, Willian, Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Anthony Rudiger and Jorginho, it would be difficult to argue they have the same influence.
It is not all on Lampard and his mostly inexperienced players, however. Chelsea showed early signs in the previous seasons.
In games where they conceded the first goal in the past four seasons, Chelsea have gone from picking up 13 points (43% from possible 30 points) in 2016/17, 12 points (25% from 48) in 2017/18, 10 (24% from 42) in 2018/19 to five points (14% from 36) this season.
For comparison, Liverpool have won five of seven games where they conceded first.
It suggests Chelsea have lacked the drive to turn the situation around or perhaps the leadership to push the rest of the team.
If that is the case, one or two summer signings with leadership qualities would make sense for Chelsea.