During Lampard’s tenure, now nearly a year and a half, there have been many questions about Chelsea’s defense, goalkeeper and, at times, the porous midfield, but the team’s ability to attack and score goals has rarely been a problem. Chelsea finished as the third highest-scoring team in the league last season, behind the top two on the run, and have been barred just 9 times in 55 games in all competitions. (We also easily ended up with the worst defensive record in the top half of the table, just to illustrate the other aspect.)
Much of Chelsea’s success in front of goal can be attributed to young Tammy Abraham, who not only broke the “Curse of the Number 9” but became the first Academy graduate to lead the team in scoring in nearly three decades since since the likes of Clive Walker and Mike Fillery ruled the Chelsea (second division) scoring rankings.
But Abraham stopped in the second half of last season – leading to the resurgence of Olivier Giroud – and likewise fought for minutes with the veteran striker this season. But Monday’s brace against West Ham, coupled with the idea that he plays as a more dynamic striker and therefore allows for better performances even for those around him, should lead to more minutes for the 23-year-old.
Coach Frank Lampard is certainly pleased with what he is seeing, but like all coaches do, he wants more from his young charge.
“With Tammy, I’m happy. It scores a lot for us and we saw it the other night and this season.
“He and Oli offer us different things in their own way. It has to keep working and keep progressing. Last season was a big breakthrough for him in terms of the Premier League and being Chelsea’s number 9 and there’s more work he can do. I am very happy with him. “
Abraham’s minutes were expected to drop and he would have an extra fight on his hand after Chelsea signed Timo Werner this summer, but the Bundesliga goal machine played mostly on the left, partly due to injuries, but also as a tactical wrinkle that Lampard chose to employ in his 4-3-3.
Werner may be the team’s top scorer – he and Giroud both have 8 while Abraham is just behind with 7 – but he’s got a pretty bad streak of not scoring, being unlucky and also missing easy chances, which has led to a lot of increasing control from all corners.
Lampard has urged patience with the 24-year-old adapting to a new championship and position, and remains confident that the goals will really come. Trust the process!
“I talk to him all the time, I don’t feel his frustration.
“I think it’s clear that as a striker you want to score regularly, as he has done in his career. But at the same time every striker has moments when the ball doesn’t fall for you for whatever reason.
“The good thing is he’s getting a chance in the games, he’s using his attributes to get on the court, he’s got a chance, so they’ll come.
-Frank Lampard; source: Footbal.London
Werner tops the chart in carpentry with 5 wins: last season’s leaders in this category, Kevin De Bruyne, Marcus Rashford and Danny Ings, all had 6! – and it’s definitely getting into the right positions. You lose one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take, as Wayne Gretzky once said. And Werner keeps shooting a lot and doesn’t hide. As long as this is the case, he will no doubt find the back of the net sooner or later.