Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed what new manager Frank Lampard said to the team ahead of his first training session with the squad.
The Chelsea legend secured his dream job after Maurizio Sarri departed the club after just a year to return to the Italian league with Juventus.
His departure follows a year of unsettlement at the club after many saw ‘Sarri ball’ unwatchable for much of the season. Supporters became increasingly frustrated with decisions like the one to push fan favourite N’Golo Kante up the pitch to make way for the much less exciting Jorginho who the club still currently own.
His defensive and slow style of play was all too much for the supporters to take. It is fair to say that Lampard will most certainly not follow the same fate.
In his debut season to management with Derby County, Lampard instantly reduced the wage bill and the average age of the squad, reconnected the supporters back with the club and excelled in progressing young youth players such as Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
This is exactly what Chelsea need and will make Stamford Bridge a place of hope and enthusiasm once again. Lampard, like many current young managers, will invest time in building a side who is committed to playing out from the back.
With Derby, Lampard played quick, expansive progressive football which was exciting to watch. The manager will undoubtedly take risks in losing the ball if it means his team play with confidence and a willingness to get forward.
Without giving too much away, this is exactly what Azpilicueta said when speaking about Lampard’s opening statement to the players.
He said: “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.”
On the new season itself, the Spaniard is excited to get underway playing under his former Chelsea teammate.
“I’m really looking forward to the new season,” said Azpilicueta. “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.”
They will need it too, with Chelsea’s first match of the Premier League season coming in the form of Manchester United who will be looking to make a statement of their own.