What changes does Frank need to make?
It has now been a full day since the embarrassing 3-1 Boxing Day loss to London rivals Arsenal. Many fans have aired their grievances whether it was on Reddit, Instagram, or Twitter, people had their say and they weren't happy. You can throw me into the pile of fans that were extremely displeased with the team's performance along with Frank's player selection prior to the first whistle.
First off, the team selection from Lampard needs to change with many players out of form starting over some very capable replacements. Timo Werner should have been given a rest for the Arsenal game as he had played nine games without scoring a single goal for Chelsea in the Premier League, the draught is even longer in other competitions so don't look. The German international scored twenty-eight goals last season for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig coming only second behind Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. He currently has four goals and four assists so far this Premier League season and is in need of a rest to regain his world-class form. With that said his replacement for the Arsenal match should have been Olivier Giroud, not Tammy Abraham, who has currently been the man on fire for Chelsea scoring vital goals against Rennais and a hat-trick over Sevilla.
Another change to the starting lineup should have not been forcing Ben Chilwell and Reece James to start after they had both picked up small injuries before the Boxing Day fixture. Chelsea played West Ham only a few days before the Arsenal match where Emerson and Azpilicueta filled in for the injured right and left-back pair. The two put on a very good performance showing that Lampard does indeed have depth whenever he needs to use it. There is no need to force two injured youngsters to play against an out of form Arsenal team that was looking at a relegation battle before the Boxing Day fixture.
Another quite obvious change was how Pulisic has been playing on the right-wing even though he plays better on the left wing to accommodate for Timo Werner playing out of position on the wing. If Lampard just allowed Pulisic to play on the left with either Giroud or Timo Werner at striker, where the German would thrive, and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the right it would allow for a more fluid attack against a weak Arsenal side.
Now the tactics for the Arsenal game were extremely poor as it seemed like the team's only hope to score was to bring the ball out wide and cross it into Tammy Abraham. The young number nine scored fifteen goals for Chelsea last season seeming to end the curse of the number nine shirt worn previously by Alvaro Morata and Fernando Torres. Tammy has been criticized by fans and pundits for not being good enough to be Chelsea's starting striker. While he has had inconsistent runs of form this season, it made no sense as to why Frank instructed his team to swing in crosses to Tammy who isn't that great in the air. Meanwhile, you have a World Cup-winning striker and one of the best aerial threats in the league sitting on the bench that would have worked so well with these tactics.
It seems that Frank has started to force players into positions where he cannot get the best out of them when he has perfect viable options on the bench that provide a better threat.