It’s easy to understand why Frank Lampard entrusted Thiago Silva with the captain’s armband for Chelsea’s clash against West Brom on Saturday.
Silva is a proven winner and has bags of experience at the highest level. Despite the fact that he hasn’t learned English yet, it still seemed like a sensible move.
“He’s not speaking the language enough to do it in that sense, but it doesn’t matter with someone like him,” Lampard explained pre-match, per Metro.
“He delivers it with actions and presence and how he is with people around him.”
Yet any confidence that Silva’s teammates would have got from playing with a seven-time Ligue 1 winner vanished in the 25th minute when the 36-year-old made a huge mistake to hand West Brom their second goal of the game.
The Brazilian lost control of the ball following a simple pass and allowed Callum Robinson to put the Baggies 2-0 up.
With Chelsea in disarray - Kyle Bartley gave Slaven Bilic’s side a 3-0 lead shortly afterwards - Lampard rung the changes at half-time, introducing Callum Hudson-Odoi and the club’s traditional captain, Cesar Azpilicueta.
And Azpilicueta took the armband from Silva and immediately set about doing what the former PSG star couldn’t - sorting Chelsea out.
Footage has emerged showing Azpilicueta passionately delivering instructing to Silva and the rest of Chelsea’s players.
Azpilicueta was already a popular figure among Chelsea’s fans, but to see the way in which he took over and acted like a true leader has further enhanced their admiration for the 31-year-old.
Azpilicueta helped the Blues fight back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 and Lampard praised the impact that he made at full-time.
“Azpi brings personality straight into the team even at left-back and Callum brought one v one something different,” the Chelsea boss said, per Metro.
Reece James’ emergence and the arrival of Ben Chilwell will make it difficult for the Spaniard to see much action this season, but it’s clear that his leadership will be extremely valuable in Chelsea’s attempts to win the Premier League.
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