Sometimes only experience will do. One the dust settles, Chelsea’s season will be characterised by Frank Lampard’s fledglings.
Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori have been like a breath of fresh air.
The club’s refreshing clutch of academy prospects, when many doubted them, have proved they can cut it at Stamford Bridge.
Experienced forward Olivier Giroud was on the scoresheet as Chelsea won 3-0 v Watford
Willian also continued his goalscoring form as Chelsea boosted their top four hopes
But, when push came to shove, it is Chelsea’s old guard – as they often have throughout the years – who are dragging them over the line.
Olivier Giroud, who looked like he was leaving the club at the turn of 2020, bagged his second goal since the restart in this cruise against Watford.
Willian also notched again – it’s four goals in as many restart games for the Brazilian.
At 33 and 31, respectively, Giroud and Willian are by far and away two of the elder statesmen of Lampard’s squad.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta was the only other thirty-something in the Chelsea team that started this win over Nigel Pearson’s men.
Chelsea’s victory means that they are in fourth place with five games left for them to play
Chelsea have a host of talented youngsters, including 22-year-old striker Tammy Abraham
Mount and Abraham et al are the Blues’ future; there’s no doubt about that.
But with Champions League qualification at stake, Lampard needs results in the here and now.
So, it is no surprise that as we reach the business end of the season that Chelsea’s older contingent are timing their run to perfection.
Their winner in the FA Cup 1-0 triumph over Leicester was courtesy of Ross Barkley, who at 26 is one of the more experienced members of Lampard’s squad. Barkley bagged another Watford.
Lampard, rightly so, should be lauded for his commitment to youth this season – his kids will emerge stronger for their experiences.
But talent can only get you so far. Lampard – who has won it all – doesn’t need to be told that.
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