Chelsea is gearing up to face Manchester City on Sunday in a match that many wouldn’t favor the Blues to win. Manchester City is currently the Premier League and European champions, while Chelsea finished 12th in the league last season. Considering the current scenario, it’s a bit of a David vs. Goliath match-up.
However, former Chelsea player Frank Lampard, who now offers his insights on The Obi One Podcast, engaged in a thought experiment about what would happen if his Chelsea team from his playing days faced Pep Guardiola’s current squad.
Lampard acknowledged that comparing teams from different eras is a challenging task, primarily because football tactics and strategies have evolved significantly. He noted that Guardiola’s current squad would pose more complex questions and challenges than what they faced during their playing days, even against top teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
He stated, “Tactically, the game has moved on so much that they would ask us a lot more questions than what we would have gotten asked in our playing days from most teams. Maybe Barcelona or those teams and Bayern Munich. We played against Pep teams, but then I think he’s evolved again where now and on a coaching level where we would have been asked the questions. We would need time. Don’t get me wrong, the group we had and if we were living in the modern day, getting asked the questions to improve, we would’ve reacted to it.”
Lampard’s contemplation suggests that modern football has reached new heights in terms of tactical complexity, and teams are more versatile in their approach, making it challenging for former football greats to predict the outcome of such hypothetical encounters.
While the thought of Chelsea’s past teams outperforming the current Manchester City squad is not entirely unrealistic, given Chelsea’s history of success and the ability to defeat Guardiola’s teams in the past, winning the Premier League title could be a different story. Manchester City’s current squad boasts significant firepower, thanks in part to stars like Erling Haaland.
Even though a prime John Terry might have been able to handle a striker like Haaland, other teams in the league have struggled to do so. In the grand scheme of things, Guardiola’s City is arguably one of the best sides in the history of the Premier League, emphasizing the level of competition in modern football.