The Frank Lampard reign at Chelsea got off to an underwhelming start as his young side was held to a turgid 1-1 draw in his first pre-season friendly against Irish outfit Bohemians on Wednesday.
The Chelsea legend and former Derby Country boss is only just beginning his second season in management – and his first at Stamford Bridge – after guiding The Rams to the Championship playoffs last season.
But the scale of the task in front of Lampard is becoming more apparent as his side stuttered in their first dress rehearsal, as Bohemians scored a late, well-deserved equalizer at the death.
Michy Batshuayi had given Lampard’s Blues the lead early in the first-half. But the team, which is just one week into pre-season training, struggled at times to keep pace with the League of Ireland side who currently sit third in their division.
Lampard played two different teams in each half of the game, which featured the return of several of Chelsea’s infamous loanees, but in the end it was Bohemians trialist Eric Molloy who got the equalizer after 14-year-old Evan Ferguson had gone close.
The rather diluted performance didn’t escape the attention of football fans on Twitter, some of whom who are of the opinion that the ex-England international is out of his depth at one of Europe’s biggest clubs with just one season of management under his belt.
Breakdown of #LampardOut tweeters last night:
10% Basement Dwelling Sarri Virgins
60% Rival fans on a wind-up
30% People tweeting it ironically
0% Chelsea fans who actually want Lampard gone and who would ever tweet that hashtag.
— Gus Mears (@gusmears1905) July 11, 2019
Lampard will get his second taste of Chelsea management on Friday when his side faces another Irish side, St. Patrick’s Athletic, in Dublin. The new manager’s task will be bolstered by the potential return of some of the club’s top players who were absent from the Bohemians match, such as N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Olivier Giroud.
The club will be hoping that Lampard will be able to implement his playing style in the remaining six friendly games before opening their season with an away game at Manchester United, then taking on European Champions Liverpool in the Super Cup days later. Lampard’s new-look side will be expected to hit the ground running to ensure they don’t provoke the ire of owner, Roman Abramovich.