In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, former Chelsea favourite Michael Ballack shares his thoughts on Frank Lampard as a head coach, Jamie Carragher believes Chelsea are on the verge of something special and Blues fans display their backing for former player-manager Gianluca Vialli as he battles cancer.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Ballack on Lampard as a Chelsea boss
Michael Ballack has told Sky Sports he is not surprised how well Frank Lampard has done as head coach of Chelsea.
The pair played together in our Double-winning side of 2009/10 when the German saw the qualities in his team-mate which made him believe he could also be a success as a manager.
Asked if he was surprised by Lampard's start, Ballack said: ‘No, not really, because if you are talented - if you know football and if you are a really hard worker, which he was always as a player - I could imagine he's the same as a coach, and obviously he is.
‘I think he likes to prepare well before a game and that's really important as a manager, to have that talent to actually prepare things and not thinking you know the game and that's it.
‘I think managing is much more than understanding football. It's a lot about preparing and also dealing with human beings in a certain way and this is a process, and even when he's just starting that process, he's already doing that on a high, high level, and I think he can be a very good manager.
‘When I played with him, I was not thinking that he could be a manager because we were so into our game. But from a character point of course he was a leader, he was somebody who was really, really competitive and he really loved football.
‘I think it's a fantastic opportunity for him to work at his club and get this opportunity to show his talent as a manager.’
Carragher expects big things from the Blues
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes something special is brewing at Stamford Bridge and expects the Blues to be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
Writing in his column for the broadcasters, the former Liverpool defender revealed how impressed he was with Frank Lampard’s exciting young side.
‘You're thinking, in two or three years’ time, this could be really special. A team with homegrown players. You think of what Manchester United did all those years ago,’ he said.
‘There's no doubt, over the next few years, that will have to be supplemented with superstars to challenge for the league again.
‘If they finish in the top four this season, Frank Lampard has done a brilliant job. I wouldn't be surprised if they picked up a cup competition. It really does look like exciting times.
‘The brilliant thing is, the supporters are loving it. Even at the start of the season, when they were having a few iffy results, everyone was still behind it, because they hadn't seen this before - young players coming through.
‘We mustn't forget, they lost the best attacker, in Eden Hazard, they've been without their best midfielder, in N'Golo Kante - he's hardly played - and their best defender is Antonio Rudiger, and he's barely played.
‘Think how strong they will be when those players return. One experienced centre-back alongside a young one. Kante, who is as good as any midfielder in the world. Get those two back and I'm pretty confident they will finish in the top four.’
Fans show support for Vialli
The Evening Standard has reported on the show of support for club legend Gianluca Vialli during the Carabao Cup clash with Manchester United as a banner was unveiled by fans at Stamford Bridge to wish the Italian well in his battle against cancer.
The 55-year-old revealed last November he had been battling pancreatic cancer for a year, and recently announced that he was still undergoing treatment.
To show their support for our former player-manager, fan group We Are The Shed decided to make a statement during Wednesday’s match, unveiling two banners reading ‘Forza Vialli/We Are With You’ before kick-off.
‘We will display a banner in the M. Harding tonight in support of Chelsea legend Gianluca Vialli who is fighting cancer,’ the group tweeted.
‘As the players walk out & the banner is held aloft we encourage you to chant Vialli's name to let him know we are with him.
‘Please spread the word #ForzaVialli.’