There’s growing evidence that Premier League teams are starting to introduce their youth players. Manchester United started with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, Arsenal had Emmanuel Frimpong, Aston Villa called-up Barry Bannan and Liverpool still play Jamie Carragher.
But if Chelsea were still under the control of Carlo Ancelotti or Luiz Felipe Scolari, I’m sure both would have stuck with the Blues’ experienced, older players. This is where Andre Villas-Boas is different. In the away loss to Man.Utd, he was brave enough to take off Lampard at half time, and the advantages were immediately imminent. He then degraded Lampard to the bench in both the Carling Cup tie and Premier League match at home to Swansea City on Saturday; denying him his 350th appearance in the league.
This allowed the younger generation of Josh McEachran, Oriol Romeu and John Obi-Mikel to start and show the Chelsea fans what the future holds.
And it’s not just Lampard who is missing out. Florent Malouda has also gathered less minutes on the field compared to last season’s opening six games. This then paves way for Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge to show their potential along with 18-year-old Romelu Lukaku, who in my eyes, is going to be a great prospect.
On the other hand, many supporters would disagree with leaving Lampard out. It would be like splitting Ant from Dec, Boris Johnson from his bicycle and Lindsay Lohan from rehab; they’re made for eachother. But with younger yet experienced midfielders like Raul Meireles and Ramires showing their class, I can’t help but feel it’s the right idea.
Maybe it’s time for Chelsea’s number eight to play more of a Ryan Giggs roll and make a few late appearances from the bench? That or elaborate on his relationship with Christine Bleakley. Afterall, she does need cheering up working alongside Adrian Chiles.
Twitter @P_D_L_P (Prem-de-la-Prem)
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