When should Chelsea use Frank Lampard next season?

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says it will be impossible to use Frank Lampard as regularly next season as he once did.

Lampard committed himself to another season with the Blues following the news that Jose Mourinho was returning as manager but if he’s expecting regular football next season then he’s going to end up disappointed.

The 35-year-old is one of the oldest members of the current squad and as much as Mourinho may want to call on him for every single match, it’s a situation he admits he’ll have to balance well.

“The role doesn't have to change. What has to change is the way we analyse competition. Before we didn't analyse. Before it was: 'Every match, he plays.'” said Mourinho.

So it opens up the question of just how Chelsea should approach using Frank Lampard next season and how they can get the most out of him over a very long campaign.

The best approach to use would be one similar to the way Manchester United have used Ryan Giggs for the last few years.

There are certain situations and certain matches where a bit of experience can go a long way to making the difference. Chelsea simply need to bide their time until these situations come up.

For example, a Premier League match against Arsenal is a situation where Mourinho is more likely to use Lampard over an FA Cup tie against a football league side or a Champions League game where qualification to the next stage has already been secured.

It’s difficult for Mourinho to judge because Lampard was so successful last season; 15 goals from 29 Premier League appearances which create a flashback to the younger version of Lampard from his 20s.

“I believe he is the same player, with the difference that he is 35 and the time [needed] to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 35 to a man of 25. That's the only point. Now we have to analyse the fixtures, analyse the matches,” he added.

Chelsea just have to judge when to use him and when to rest him because there being no winter break in English football means the games will start coming thick and fast.

Lampard is at a point in his career when he can’t play Saturday, Tuesday and then Saturday again so it all boils down to which match the manager sees as the most important because those are the games Lampard is going to feature in.

Giggs is the perfect example that a top club can get the most out of an older player if he’s used in the right way and not thrown into matches before he’s had enough time to fully recover.

When do you expect to see Lampard next season?

image: © wonker

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