Ian Holloway: Chelsea shouldn’t have let David Luiz go

Ian Holloway by Ian Holloway / 19 August 2019, 10:35

At Bristol Rovers I was given a four-year contract on a blue piece of paper, which meant they couldn’t sack me.

It gave me a chance to become a manager. Today, if you don’t win the first two or three games, then the press start saying you’re going to get the sack, and the fans start singing it. That’s just the way it is.

The likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard will have to find their own way. Some young managers will find it easy and natural, while others won’t. I like the fact that the new generation are having a go. I feel for them because it’s a lot harder now as you’ve got to be instant, but good luck to them, it’s a wonderful opportunity.

To manage anyone at any time is a total honour, to get one job for one minute is a privilege. There are millions of people who dream about doing it, but you’re the one that’s got that responsibility.

Pressure is always going to be on a Chelsea manager because the club is so used to winning. I hope that Frank Lampard is given time. It will be exciting watching his side this season but logic and common sense must prevail. You can’t expect someone right now to make the club like they were before when they had Eden Hazard in the team.

I liked how Chelsea started against both Man Utd and Leicester City, but it’s not about how you start, it’s about the whole 90 minutes. In both games they ended up looking wide open. Another five or six minutes against Leicester and they would have lost.

Frank Lampard needs to find a way of fielding a stronger more experienced team as you can’t expect young kids to come in and completely take over immediately. The players that are starting are too inexperienced, especially in vital areas.

The centre-halves for instance. Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen have been left exposed too many times. They’re not keeping the midfield players sat in front of them, they are being got at late on in games, there’s too many spaces in between the lines. They’ve got to sort that out otherwise it might be worrying.

The surprise for me was letting David Luiz go to Arsenal that late, and not having a replacement.

The young players aren’t replacements, Chelsea need a leader at the back. Zouma had a good season at Everton but that’s not like playing for Chelsea, it’s a big ask for him to fill Luiz’s or John Terry’s boots. Christensen is getting better but he doesn’t look like a leader to me. Antonio Rudiger is a big loss, they need him back in my opinion.

I hope it works out for Lampard, but Chelsea have two tough games coming up against the newly promoted teams.

I thought Norwich played brilliantly against Newcastle, and Sheffield United were excellent against Crystal Palace. Both clubs are on a real high at the moment, but we’ll see.

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