Chelsea FC

'Chelsea Looking For Improvement On Last Season'

Speaking to LCFC TV this week, Simon Johnson of The Athletic reviewed Chelsea's season so far ahead of facing Leicester City on Tuesday evening (8:15pm kick-off).
More on this story...

- Chelsea are Leicester City's next Premier League opponents on Tuesday evening (8:15pm kick-off)
- The London club travel to King Power Stadium off the back of a narrow win at Fulham last weekend
- Simon Johnson spoke to LCFC TV about Chelsea's recent form and manager Frank Lampard
- Lampard is still working out his best team after a host of summer additions to the squad, Johnson believes

Chelsea, fresh from a 1-0 victory over Fulham, will be looking to record back-to-back away wins in the Premier League for the second time this season when they visit King Power Stadium.

Mason Mount scored the winner at Craven Cottage on Saturday, scoring for the second consecutive game after also netting in the Emirates FA Cup win over Morecambe.

In the league, meanwhile, the Blues sit seventh in the standings after 18 games, eight points behind the current leaders, Manchester United.

"Compare the points tally from the same amount of games last year and they are actually three points worse off," Johnson commented.

"And when you've spent over £200M on players, you really expect it to be much better than that, more positive and have many more points.

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Mason Mount
Mason Mount

England international Mason Mount has scored two goals in as many games for the Blues.

"There are caveats in the sense that a lot of teams are struggling this year with COVID-19 and the fixture list, but you'd have to say it's the way they've been playing since early December.

"But as we've seen with Manchester United, if you get on a roll, suddenly the season looks totally different."

Looking for an improvement on their third and fourth place finishes in 2018/19 and 2019/20, Chelsea brought in several new recruits over the summer, including Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

Johnson continued: "They've finished so far behind Liverpool and Manchester City for the last couple of years but I don't think there was an expectation that they would win the title this season.

[Lampard] has been hindered I think, as most teams were, by a lack of pre-season, but when you have so many big arrivals, you need that six-week spell that you get during pre-season to work on things.

Simon Johnson, The Athletic

"What they did expect as a club was to be significantly closer, points wise - and I suppose they are - but to be also showing significant improvement as a team compared to last season."

With many new players to bed in, picking a settled starting XI has also proved to be difficult for manager Frank Lampard, according to Johnson.

"It does seem to be changing on a game by game basis," he added. "You could almost say it's understandable when you hit a bad patch of form that you are trying to find the right formula.

"But there's no doubt about it, Chelsea are yet to find their best team and there are a number of factors in that, there have been injury issues.

"[Hakim] Ziyech and [Christian] Pulisic have only played together a couple of times, which is not by design. Ziyech has had a spell out injured, Pulisic has had his problems too.

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Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard took over as Chelsea manager in June 2019.

"Timo Werner has caused an issue in himself because he's played out left so there's only one other wide spot available for somebody else.

"When he's played up front, it means [Olivier] Giroud and Tammy Abraham are on the bench and I don't think the team gels as well without a traditional target man up front.

"[Lampard] has been hindered I think, as most teams were, by a lack of pre-season, but when you have so many big arrivals, you need that six-week spell that you get during pre-season to work on things.

"Instead of that, he's had to do it while the season is underway, which is never ideal."

All times GMT.

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