There would be no Frank Lampard or youngsters if Chelsea did not have the transfer ban.

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with reading comment in Newspapers or on Television stating that it’s only because of the transfer...

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with reading comment in Newspapers or on Television stating that it’s only because of the transfer ban that Frank Lampard is our manager AND that the youngsters are playing. In my opinion, these statements are incorrect and it’s about time people realised what the situation was back in the summer and is now.

So, to Frank Lampard. I would like you all to cast your minds back to the end of Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea. Having won the ultimate in the Champions League in Bayern Munich’s own backyard, he was never able to capitalise on that to try and take the step forward we needed in the Premier League having lost Didier Drogba (and others). Our defence of the Champions League fell apart seeing us drop into the Europa League and our Premier League hopes were in tatters. He was sacked and Rafa Benitez was appointed as his replacement.

What followed shocked Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea board. The reaction of his appointment from the supporters inside the stadium was not favourable by any means, the manager tried to do what he could to end the career of John Terry and it became clear (despite the Europa League win and top four finish) that something needed to be done to get the supporters back on side. Who could the club appoint to appease the fans? Jose Mourinho returned to the club to bring harmony back in the stands.

The appointment of Maurizio Sarri initially seemed strange to me. Someone who has never had any success of note on the playing field himself but forged a career in banking, to then manage at various levels in Italy for thirty-years and fail to win anything at all. He was appointed having received plaudits for the way his team played football. If anything, if Roman Abramovich could not achieve Barcelona’s famous “Tikka-Takka” football, it seemed that “Sarri-Ball” was the next best thing.

Soon enough it became clear that it was never going to work in the Premier League and in England. Our game is too fast, physical and demanding on players compared to Serie A where you are given more time to play. Despite a good start, alarm bells starting ringing when it became apparent that changes to the formation, to the playing style and to the first team needed to be made. They never happened which echoed the comment made by the President of Napoli when Sarri left the club.

To cut a long story short with Sarri, he only made changes when he had no choice, or as it turns out when he was told to (Hudson-Odoi according to rumour). We finished third in the Premier League because at the end of the season, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham were dire not because Chelsea were exceptional. We won the Europa League for the second time against a poor Arsenal side in a competition that included second-rate teams until we reached the semi-final/final. It was expected that we would reach the final and anything less as failure.

Maurizio Sarri left in the summer knowing that a section of the supporters did not appreciate his style or his approach and let’s face it, having had the desire for thirty-years to win Serie A and being given the opportunity with Juventus it became too good to turn down. He left with his first trophy and a third-place finish.

So once again, there was murmurs of discontent amongst the fans with the manager. Once again Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea board had to act to appease the supporters knowing that Sarri had indicated his wish to return to Italy. Could we turn once again to Jose Mourinho for a third time?

It was obvious that Frank Lampard had proven himself to be a manager with potential and bright ideas as last season played out. The love affair the Chelsea fans had with him was as strong as ever and all of us wanted to see him do well in his first stint in the dugout backed by another from within our ranks as a footballer first and coach second – Jody Morris. Based on the success Lampard was having with some standout results, his style of football, adaptability with his tactics having played the game for nearly twenty years and implementing two of our own in from the Academy into his first team seemed to have impressed the Chelsea hierarchy.

We had reached the end of a cycle with the departure of Eden Hazard, just as we had done previously with Didier Drogba and now we needed someone that knows the club inside out, someone who knows what it takes to be at Chelsea and someone who could take us forward with a remit to make decisions either to sell or keep those players who had continued to impress out on loan. It was imperative that the right people were put in charge and the decision was made that Frank Lampard with the staff he wanted to bring in were the answer to hopefully take the club forward.

As for the youngsters? I believe most of them had reached a moment in their careers, having spent time out on loan, that it was now first-team football week-in, week-out that became the priority. Heading into the summer it became clear that if it was not going to be at Chelsea, then it WOULD be somewhere else. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham had made waves out on loan for the past few seasons to the point that they were now ready to be playing every week somewhere. 

Add Fikayo Tomori – the Player of the Season voted by the Derby County supporters last year to that equation, Chelsea needed to act or to at least put their immediate futures into the hands of someone willing to either take that chance or to instruct Marina Granovskaia to sell.

You can tell when you see Frank Lampard talking that he genuinely believes in Abraham, Mount, Tomori and Hudson-Odoi. You can see that he personally feels that they can cut it in the Premier League to give them the opportunity to have a crack at it in HIS team this season. Make no mistake, Chelsea would have had monies to spend this summer if there was no ban but then you have to ask the question – Who would be better and available for the right money than Abraham with a World-Cup winner signed to a one-year contract extension already and a Belgian goal machine as back-up?

The immense impact Fikayo Tomori made last season had an influence on Frank Lampard to the point that David Luiz was told in no uncertain terms that he was not first choice anymore. If anything, Tomori would take his spot in the squad playing as back-up to Andreas Christensen and Toni Rudiger if everyone was fit. He was given an opportunity early in the season and has never looked back.

We all know the immense talent that Callum Hudson-Odoi has here and it was imperative that he was always one that would in the first team this season with the club having worked so hard to get him to reject the advances of Bayern Munich for so long.

As for Mason Mount? Again, another who impressed so much at Derby County last season, he was ready to take the next step into the Premier League. His all-round contributions within games exceeds expectations already this season and proved to be another good decision.

Let’s not forget that Chelsea and Frank Lampard were impressed with Reece James and the telling contribution he made to Wigan last season. Another awarded Player of the Year playing at the back or in midfield. Title winner Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta were both allowed to leave the club on loan to accommodate him as the back-up to Cesar Azpilicueta.

All these decisions were taken based on what we needed in our squad, what was right for Frank Lampard moving forward. If there was no transfer ban, I do believe that we would have signed one or two players but signed to fit in alongside the youngsters implemented this season. I also believe one or two would have been sold.

We have picked up our form now and our on a fantastic run which gives Frank Lampard a big problem to deal with at Chelsea. However, if we can continue to sustain our performance levels and some good results to cement our position in the top four by the turn of the year, to give us a great chance at the end of the season, then hopefully all this talk of the transfer ban will stop.

Just imagine if Frank Lampard does it!

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