Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that new manager Frank Lampard is eager for Chelsea to “dominate” games during his debut season in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
Chelsea kicked off their pre-season on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against Irish side Bohemians, and – speaking before the game – Azpilicueta offered some insight into what Lampard expects from his players in the long term.
Chelsea’s pre-season: Five things to know…
- Chelsea will play one more game in Ireland before travelling to Barcelona.
- Games against Red Bull Salzburg and Reading follow, finishing up with a clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.
- This is just the second time Lampard has managed a pre-season with a club.
- The Chelsea legend only took his first Blues training session last week.
- Chelsea begin the Premier League season against Manchester United on August 11.
The club captain said: “We’ve all had a good break, which was needed after a long season with the Europa League running until the end of May.
“It was great to win a trophy to finish with and now we are all ready and raring to get back at it. It’s always a lot of hard work during pre-season but it’s the work you have to put in, to create a good base for our physical condition.
“He wants us to play with high intensity and we want to be dominant in games, the manager has explained how he wants us to play and we are all enjoying the camp so far.
“I’m really looking forward to the new season.”
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
How will Lampard fare?
Despite Lampard’s undoubted popularity amongst Chelsea fans, how the appointment will turn out remains to be seen.
Lampard successfully guided Derby to the Championship play-off final in May, where they narrowly lost to Villa, showing off some tactical masterstrokes along the way, particularly at Elland Road in a 2-4 victory over Leeds United.
However, he has had just one full season in management and is yet to answer certain question about his coaching ability. Chelsea’s transfer ban means that Lampard will not be able to strengthen his squad this summer (although they were able to make the signing of Mateo Kovacic permanent).
Lampard will have to rely on players who were out on loan last season such as Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma and Derby colleague Mason Mount to provide some squad depth.