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The Blues boss has hit a winter blip this season but his former team-mate has called for patience and believes expectations are too high

Marcel Desailly thinks that Frank Lampard is building hope at Chelsea once again and believes that expectations are over-inflated around the club’s potential to compete for major honours.

Chelsea suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time since December 2019 last week after Lampard’s side suffered away losses to both Wolves and Everton.

The Blues were on a 17-game undefeated streak but the losses have seen Liverpool go six points clear at the top of the table and Chelsea having dropped out of the top four.

Desailly, who lined up alongside Lampard at Chelsea, thinks that this side is moving in the right direction but requires time to deliver trophies.

“He is coping well with the finances he has and he has just topped up the squad to fill gaps for the first time,” Desailly told Goal, as part of the Nissan UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour. “He has also readjusted his defence.

“It was needed – and Kante is coming back from injury. Kante plays every week and he has brought stability but it is not enough. He is not a difference-maker going forward. 

“I am just happy we have hope with Lampard. We could achieve second in the league in the hope that we can eventually win it. I don’t think it is a problem not to win it but you feel like Chelsea will be around the conversation and it is the same for the Champions League.

“He hasn’t got an established team that Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho had where you felt they had to win the Premier League or Champions League. You expected it then but you are not expecting it at this time.

“I feel Lampard is doing well because the hope is there. It isn’t easy these days with the transfer market the way it is; you need to create a philosophy around a coach. I hope he has a third one and people need to believe in him and his new players.

“They lost Eden Hazard, that was a big blow. It is a matter of time and there’s so much investment from the other clubs that it is difficult to know when Chelsea will be able to win the league or Champions League. It may take more than two years.”

The increase in scrutiny around Chelsea comes after they spent £220 million ($275m) in a summer where most clubs were reluctant to enter the market due to the financial implications relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

Six new signings entered Lampard’s squad, including the former PSG and AC Milan star Thiago Silva. Having arrived himself with a big reputation aged 29, Desailly knows how hard it can be to adjust to the Premier League, but he thinks the 36-year-old Silva will be okay as long as he avoids injury.

“I was scared about him coming at the beginning but mentally he was strong enough to handle his mistake against West Brom,” he added. “He is a leader, a former captain in Paris, but in France they say that he just fell short in the later rounds of the Champions League.

“Let’s see, he has fit well in the system and performed but we have to hope that he doesn’t get injured. At 36, as soon as you have an injury, then it is difficult to overcome.”

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December 21, 2020
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