CHELSEA have enjoyed an impressive 2020 as they secured Champions League football last term with Frank Lampard’s youngsters coming up trumps.
However despite falling short in the FA Cup final against Arsenal in August, the Blues have shown their class in the top-flight this term as well as in Europe.
Chelsea were tipped to be in contention to win the Premier League earlier this season[/caption]
They recruited brilliantly in the summer having brought in the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chillwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy.
The club sit fifth in the Premier League table after 14 games, but there remains huge optimism around Stamford Bridge.
Here Simon Phillips gives his views on how Chelsea have fared this year.
Player of the Year for 2020 – Mason Mount
He’s played in all but two games under Lampard this season and has been the first name on his team sheet since the start of last season, becoming an essential team member.
Others have performed well, but none have been as consistently good overall as Mason Mount has been, and he has improved even more this season.
He rarely gives the ball away and his energy on the pitch is underrated.
Mount doesn’t just give you energy though, he provides defensive reinforcements with his recoveries, and his pace and vision is dangerous on the counter attack.
Mason Mount has featured in 20 games in all competitions this season[/caption]
Young Player of the Year for 2020 – Reece James
There are absolutely no arguments who this should be for 2020.
Reece James has been colossal for Chelsea over the last year.
He has dislodged a good player and club captain in Cesar Azpilicueta to nail down the regular starting right-back spot, and he has become an indispensable player in the starting eleven.
His attacking threat from the right hand side with his runs and crossing has been an added weapon for Chelsea, and he has become a real danger man for the opposition.
Reece James has enjoyed a number of dazzling displays for the West Londoners in 2020[/caption]
Hopes, expectations and what would be a successful league finish?
It has been a rollercoaster season so far. Chelsea went 17 games unbeaten before losing two on the trot recently, and some of us got carried away before the losses.
Chelsea went from being written off entirely by most pundits, to being talked about as a team who can win both the Premier League and the Champions League in the space of a few months.
Reality kicked in when we stumbled again, but I can still see a fruitful end to the season, and a real challenge at some silverware.
We have not lost a game so far in the Champions League and if we can overcome the very tough task of knocking out Atletico Madrid, which we have every chance of doing, then we could really be contenders to win the Champions League.
But the reality is for me I’d be more than happy with a top three finish and some silverware, whether it is the FA Cup or in Europe, we have a decent chance of winning something.
I expect many more bumps in the road, but Lampard has his team playing with more confidence than last season.
And if the new signings can continue to make the impact that they showed they can do during the unbeaten run, then Chelsea can really become a force by the end of this season.
Chelsea's Premier League squad
Full squad, in number order…
Andreas Christensen – homegrown
Tammy Abraham – homegrown
Fikayo Tomori – homegrown
Mason Mount – under-21
Callum Hudson-Odoi – under-21
Ben Chilwell – homegrown
Billy Gilmour – under-21
Reece James – under-21
Kai Havertz – under-21
Will Frank Lampard be at Chelsea at the end of 2021?
I have no doubt that he will still be the Chelsea manager at the end of 2021, purely because he has been fully backed by the board with a lot of new signings.
So if they were to then give up on him so soon, it would all seem like a big waste of time.
This is a long-term project, a lot like Liverpool and Manchester City have been afforded with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola – if the board change managers between a long- term project, it defeats the object entirely.
Lampard is a young manager learning the ropes, and he will get better and grow even more, Chelsea would have known that he is a developing manager when they took him on – this is not a new occurrence.
The only way I can see Lampard being sacked or leaving the club is if disaster struck and they found themselves down in a relegation battle.
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Other than that, there is no way Lampard is replaced if it is a board decision.
You have to know that any project takes time and Chelsea will not become world-beaters over night, but the board has to believe in the project in the first place to take it on, and they will fully believe that Lampard is the man to lead it.
He knows the club, knows what it takes to be a success, and is a born winner – he will be afforded time and patience unless there is a disaster; that I have no doubt about.
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