Dubai: Chelsea have made some questionable managerial appointments in the recent past. The ill-fated return of Jose Mourinho and the unheralded and swiftly departed Maurizio Sarri spring to mind.
Once again this summer, they seemed to play a risky game by appointing relative rookie Frank Lampard as the boss, despite the fact he has only one full season of experience under his belt last campaign with Derby County in the English second tier Championship.
Lampard has suffered early lows in charge at Stamford Bridge, including a 4-0 thrashing by Manchester United on the opening day of the season, but his young team have grown in stature and defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers away 5-2 last week.
One Stamford Bridge hero, who has known glory and hurt as both a player and manager with the London side, fully endorsed Lampard as the man to take the club forward over the coming years.
Speaking ahead of his round in the DSA Open - part of the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series - at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, Ruud Gullit gave the thumbs up to the Chelsea board for giving Lampard — who is the club’s top scorer — a chance to lead them back to the top, despite a Uefa enforced transfer ban, which means they must rely on the youth players in their squad.
“I think that the transfer ban is a good thing for Chelsea as they are obliged to use youth players,” said Gullit. “This means their academy will excel as they are using all these players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham. These guys are playing well and Chelsea are playing well.
“Ok, sometimes they miss experience in certain areas but I love the way they play and this experience will come very quickly coming against top opposition.
“They were unlucky to lose in Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday but the fact they kept it so close, despite an injury to Mount and a relatively inexperienced team against top Spanish opponents shows you this is the right way to go.
“It is just a matter of time before they start winning regularly. Lampard is doing well. And there is less pressure on him because of the transfer ban. I hope they give him time. Forget positions in the various competitions this season. Don’t even look at it. It is just a matter of time.”
Abraham’s response to racist abuse
Gullit backed Tammy Abraham’s response to online racist abuse he received by so-called ‘fans’ after he missed a penalty for Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup against Liverpool at the start of the season.
The English youngster suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of social media trolls after his spot kick was saved my Liverpool’s Adrian, but he has shown great character to begin the Premier League campaign in great form, culminating in a hat-trick for the Blues against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.
“He has made his revenge,” said former Chelsea man Gullit on the sidelines of the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. “His revenge is to play well, raise your game and play well and these idiots have nowhere to go and they look foolish.”