Chelsea's Premier League campaign got off to the worst possible start, as the Blues fell to a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
However, when you consider the 90 minutes at Old Trafford as a whole, the general consensus amongst Blues fans is that it was far from a thrashing per se, and there a positive season of change is still expected at Stamford Bridge.
Throughout Sunday's match, the Blues showed their new boss several glimpses of what he is looking for from his players: high energy, quick interplay and plenty of chance creation.
Inside the opening five minutes, Chelsea's new number nine Tammy Abraham had David de Gea counting his lucky stars, as the 21-year-old smashed the post with a crisp strike from the edge of the box.
No team hit the woodwork more times in the Premier League last season than Chelsea (21).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 11, 2019
Tammy Abraham rattles the post early on for the visitors. pic.twitter.com/iv2tbTqOek
Shortly after, a well-worked move set Cesar Azpilicueta off down the wing, where the Spaniard took on Luke Shaw and played a tantalising ball across the face of goal, just evading the runs of Mason Mount and Abraham - a run both players would make half a second earlier with a few more games under their belts.
On another day, Chelsea find themselves 2-0 up inside 20 minutes.
Instead, two rather brainless mistakes by two of the more experienced players in the starting lineup - first Pedro, then crucially Kurt Zouma - gifted Marcus Rashford the chance to put United in front and give the game a different complexion.
A makeshift Chelsea side had a full strength Man Utd on the ropes for much of the game and could've easily walked away from Old Trafford with three points in the bag by the half-time break.
It's not every week that you allow you limit your opponent to five shots on goal in 90 minutes and come away on the receiving end of a 4-0 defeat, but there are obvious defensive frailties that need to be rectified quickly if Chelsea are to reach their targets this season.
There was an unquestionable naivety in the way the Blues pressed their opponents, as they left themselves vulnerable to the counter - something which played right into United's hands, thanks to the pace of Rashford, Anthony Martial and later Daniel James.
Lampard says there were lots of elements of the game that he liked, including winning the ball back high often in the first half. He knows it will be a work in progress to a degree given the fact we can't sign players and our injury list but he says there were positives.#MUNCHE— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 11, 2019
Having said that, it shouldn't be long before we see a stronger, more balanced Chelsea under Frank Lampard.
Youngsters Mount and Abraham did themselves no harm on debut, with the former in particular causing United plenty of problems in the first half. They will only improve as the season continues.
Returning loanee Zouma had an afternoon to forget at the back but it's likely that the Frenchman will be taking a place on the bench once Antonio Rudiger returns, which immediately brings more stability to a back four that really needs it.
Although Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic controlled the midfield for large parts of the game, the return of the irreplaceable N'Golo Kante will be a huge boost for Lampard in the coming weeks and provide the aforementioned balance between defence and attack.
It mustn't be forgotten that Chelsea are still without their best centre-back, their best midfielder, as well as the experienced (and sometimes brilliant) Willian. Not to mention the integration of the exciting Christian Pulisic, who turned on a sixpence to beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka within seconds of coming off the bench.
Add to that the return of academy stars and England internationals Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, plus versatile defender Reece James, and Frank Lampard's Chelsea really begins to take shape.
Last season at the third goal the whole away end would’ve emptied. Still full at the final whilstle today. Lampard FC pic.twitter.com/KehdtyGqNi— Jamal (@carefreejamal) August 11, 2019
It's clear that this Chelsea side will take time to mature and iron out its mistakes, but it's just as clear what Lampard is trying to do and that is why, despite the result, so many Blues fans remain positive about the upcoming season.