The Star (Kenya) : 2020-09-11

SPORTS INTERNATIO­NAL : 39 : 39

SPORTS INTERNATIO­NAL

Friday-sunday, September 11-13, 2020 THE-STAR.CO.KE 39 SPORTS INTERNATIO­NAL opinion BY ALISTAIR MAGOWAN, BBC SPORTS Chelsea aren’t just chasing results, they are also building a dynasty dynasty for a while. This perfect opportunit­y. “The pressure on Lampard from the club is minimal, but the pressure from himself is maximal. The best managers like Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp do that and Frank is very similar.” is the but is actually an “intelligen­t” one. He adds: “If you equalise it over the two years, it’s not a mad amount of money with the income from Hazard and Morata. Also, Chelsea weren’t expected to reach the Champions League two seasons in a row, which makes a massive difference to their finances.” WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO CHELSEA’S YOUNGSTERS? MORE PRESSURE ON LAMPARD? Paying £71m for 21-year-old midfielder Havertz might seem like a risk, but if he realises his value, Chelsea could even profit from him in the way they did with Hazard, who cost £32m. The club’s policy of buying the best of Europe’s young talent in Havertz, 24-year-old Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, 23, and to a lesser degree 27-year-old Hakim Ziyech, means Chelsea, with Lampard in charge, are playing a longer game. They will supplement the likes of Christian Pulisic, aged 21, and academy graduates Tammy Abraham, 22, Mason Mount, 21, Reece James, 20, and Callum Hudson-odoi, 19. Abramovich is not known for his patience with managers, and such an outlay might mean that Lampard needs to improve on fourth position in the Premier League and an FA Cup runners-up spot last season. Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, plus Champions League and Europa League trophies as a player with Chelsea. But Nevin says: “There’s less pressure on Lampard than any Chelsea manager in the Abramovich era. Chelsea have tried building it quickly, and buying world-class players, and they have had success, but Abramovich has wanted a In November 2019 Lampard named the youngest Chelsea XI of the Premier League era, with an average age of 24 years and 88 days Mount’s father Tony gave short shrift to reports in Germany that his son would be angry about the arrival of Havertz because they play in similar positions. Rubbish, he said, or emojis to that effect, on Twitter. On the face of it, there could be similar concerns from Abraham and Hudson-odoi about the signings of Werner and Ziyech. But all three youngsters know the level they must reach to represent Chelsea and although they had competitio­n from the likes of Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud last season, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before younger and hungrier recruits would arrive. Lampard denied that he only played that trio last season because of the transfer ban, insisting they were in the team on merit. Injuries hampered Abraham and Hudson-odoi but they are known to relish a challenge. “The younger players have learned enough last season that if you are good enough, you’ll get a game and it’s not much more complicate­d than that.” Nevin added.