While Emerson Palmieri recognises room for improvement individually and collectively, the left-back believes his and the team’s performances under Frank Lampard this season have been full of confidence and quality.
Aside from a spell in September and October when he was injured, Emerson has been a regular on the left side of our defence this term, and yesterday the boss praised the Italian international’s showing against Lille in midweek. That 2-1 victory at the Bridge secured our place in the last 16 of the Champions League, and, according to Emerson, the achievement of navigating us out of a tough group is proof of the good work Lampard is doing.
‘The thing I like most about Lampard is the way he treats us as a team,’ says the 25-year-old, ‘and the way we always go out there to win, to attack and to play our own game, which is a game of lots of aggression and intensity. Because of that, we’re becoming more and more confident.
‘It’s really important for the club to get to the next round of the Champions League. It was the objective we set for ourselves. Now we’re among the 16 best teams in Europe and it’s good for us to have that status.
‘It shows the great work we are putting in, and it shows Frank Lampard is already proving to be a great manager who knows football so well. We need to continue believing in him and we can go even further.’
For all our exciting attacking play this term, we have found clean sheets hard to come by, having kept just three in our 16 Premier League games. Emerson says it is something the group are working hard on, and finding the right balance between attack and defence remains a priority.
As a defender himself he acknowledges he has a part to play in that, but overall he is satisfied with his level of performance in 2019/20.
‘I’ve been feeling really good about how things are going here. I think I’ve had a good season. I was out for six weeks with an injury that slowed me down a bit, but overall I think I’m playing well and I’m really happy with what I’m doing here at Chelsea.
‘Of course there are areas I have to improve, that’s only natural, and as I play more and get better rhythm in the team then that’s what is going to happen.’
Today represents an excellent opportunity to get back to winning ways in the league and perhaps chalk up a fourth league shut-out of the campaign, too, with the previous three having all come at the Bridge. Bournemouth lie in wait.
‘It’s a very important match and one that will be difficult,’ Emerson emphasises.
‘After such a good run we have lost a little of our consistency over the last few weeks, and when we look around us there are other teams trying to get into that top four, so it’s really important we get the three points, no matter how we do it.’