Hello. The news cycle has a habit of moving at dizzying speed in football. Three days after being crushed by Manchester United, Frank Lampard is in Istanbul and has a chance of winning a European trophy in his second match as Chelsea’s new manager. Take that, Jose! In your shiny studio. On that sofa. Doing your punditry up there. It’s Lampard in the dugout now and though he’s faced criticism since Sunday’s defeat it is possible to see what he’s trying to do at a club labouring under a transfer embargo and wounded from the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. If the youngsters develop then Chelsea could have quite the side on their hands in time.
The problem with that theory, though, is that this is a club that doesn’t have the strongest history in the patience department - and another complication is that the competition at the top is growing ever fiercer. Time was when Chelsea sat at the top of the tree in England, competing for titles and largely able to sign whoever they wanted. But this evening they face opponents who are much further along in their development, which feels a strange thing to say given that Chelsea won the league two years ago and Liverpool ... well, we know when Liverpool last won the league.
Twenty-nine years ago! But that wait doesn’t sting quite so much at the moment. Not after they ran Manchester City so close last season and went to Madrid to collect their sixth European campaign. They’re clearly moving in the right direction under Jurgen Klopp, even though they had a quiet summer in the market, and are bound to challenge for major honours again. Chelsea, on the other hand, are in a transitional period. Lampard needs time, no matter what happens here, in the first ever Super Cup between two English sides.
Kick-off: 8pm BST.