Ask Chelsea fans who their player of the season so far is and you won’t get a universal answer.
But you will get a strong tendency towards one man – Mateo Kovacic. While Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic have had great bursts, Kovacic has been consistently good all season.
That’s what made it all the more odd that Frank Lampard dropped the Croatian for a couple of recent games.
He was back in against Hull though, and speaking after the game, Lampard spoke to the club’s official website about how pleased he was with the performance, and how he had tweaked his midfielder’s role:
“I think he can do both [attacking and defensive] roles,” Lampard said.
“We changed the midfield around and rotated it in terms of how we’re playing – I never want it to be absolutely structured – and there’s games he’s played well as part of a two and he’s almost doing a bit of both roles. I think he can do it very well.”
He also went into detail on how he can improve, not pretending for a moment that even a highly rated former Real Madrid Champions League winner is the finished article:
“There are other parts of his game that we want to improve. We want to see him score more goals and when he’s in deep defensive areas, of course he has to be very aware to pick up runners and do that job as well.”
Those are two clear weaknesses, and the goalscoring part of his game has seen an uptick this season – well, at least compared to the barren spell of years beforehand.
If Lamps can get tat defending up to scratch, we really will have an all round midfielder.