For a short time on Saturday evening, Chelsea found themselves 3-0 down at newly-promoted West Brom. In fact, a Callum Robinson brace plus a Kyle Bartley effort saw the Baggies race into a three-goal lead after just 27 minutes.
It seemed as though Frank Lampard’s team were heading for an unexpected defeat. However, they worked their way back into the game and rescued a point deep into stoppage-time through a Tammy Abraham effort. Some may say they were fortunate to take a point after should an awful first defensive display.
A terrible defensive display
At times Chelsea were generous in defence last season. The Blues have attempted to remedy that leaky defence by bringing in veteran centre-back Thiago Silva and left-back Ben Chilwell. The latter has yet to feature, but the former had a nightmare debut.
The 36-year-old fresh from captaining PSG to the Champions League final looked at all at sea on his Premier League bow. His presence in the Blues defence certainly did little to solidify their highly shaky backline. On 25 minutes, he directly contributed to his team’s downfall, as the Brazilian’s mis-control allowed Robinson in for his second goal.
The display only added to the question marks over whether the veteran centre-back can cut it in the English top-flight. He performed so admirably in the heart of PSG’s defence in this season’s Champions League, but he had also been in previous PSG teams that had capitulated in previous seasons.
Silva will need all of his vast experience at club and international level to come back from his poor debut. It is only one game and it will be interesting to see if the veteran centre-back can acclimatise to the English top-flight.
New attacking talent still not at their best
It is fair to say that Chelsea’s new forward Timo Werner has been unfortunate not to have broken his duck in front of goal. The Germany international hit the crossbar at the Hawthorns and has come close on several occasions already this season.
Compatriot and fellow new arrival Kai Havertz is also just starting to improve too, producing a midweek hat-trick before producing an assist against the Baggies. It was ironic that it was two of last season’s star forward players Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham who played crucial roles in the Blues comeback.
With the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech yet to return to fitness, Lampard certainly has a puzzle on his hands. It is a nice problem for the former Derby head coach. However, he works that conundrum out could mean the difference between success and failure.
Too early to judge
Chelsea have made an inconsistent start to the new Premier League campaign. However, it is too early to judge the Blues chances of success this season. They have a lot of new players to bed into the team. Therefore it may take time for results to improve on the pitch.
However, Chelsea boss Lampard will know that he has a lot of work ahead of him in the coming months to mould this undoubtedly talented group of players into a cohesive team. Last year was a bit of a free hit for the rookie boss. This season he will not have the same luxury.
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What would constitute success for Chelsea this season?