It’s been a torrid month for the former England star, his short managerial career endured its toughest period over the festive season. Chelsea, currently 9th in the Premier League, invested heavily in the summer and have so far failed to meet the expectations set by the club’s hierarchy.
A sacking seemed inevitable at some point, though it seems Roman Abramovich and his board have pulled the trigger a little earlier than some were expecting.
A text was sent around the first-team squad on Monday morning instructing them that training was delayed until the afternoon. Lampard, meanwhile, was asked to meet the board. Just before lunchtime, it was announced that Lampard’s tenure had been extinguished.
I can’t personally say I’m surprised by this move from Chelsea. Though I think Lampard deserved time to try and turn it around given his lack of experience, it’s clear to see why he was given the boot at this stage of the season.
Abramovic’s Chelsea has never been a forgiving place for managers
We are in the closing stages of the January transfer window. If Chelsea knew they would be getting rid of Lampard, getting in a new coach and investing in players they want will allow the Blues to prepare for next season.
Gary Lineker, however, has branded the sacking ‘ludicrous’, and though I wouldn’t go that far, I can see his point. Abramovic’s Chelsea has never been a forgiving place for managers, and it seems unlikely that the West London outfit will learn from cutting off coaches so frequently.
It appears that Chelsea operate on a philosophy similar to that of PSG – they want success immediately, and if it isn’t delivered, the manager will be the first to go.
Interestingly, then, Chelsea seem set to hire recently sacked PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel, as replacement for the outgoing Lampard.
Tuchel always seemed the obvious choice for Chelsea if they were to get rid of Lampard. He’s German, and with the recent acquisitions and subsequent poor form of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz from the Bundesliga, they are clearly looking for someone who can get the best out of them.
As well as this, Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic have both previously worked with Tuchel at PSG and Dortmund respectively, so the links are clear to see.
In my opinion, however, I don’t think this signing will be a smart one from Chelsea.
Tuchel has a record of publicly clashing with the boards of the clubs he works for
Tuchel is a good coach, there’s no denying that. He won almost everything there was to win with PSG, narrowly missing out on a maiden Champions League title, and while he failed to overthrow Bayern Munich, his Dortmund team certainly played a great brand of football.
However, he also has a record of publicly clashing with the boards of the clubs he works for.
In both of his previous managerial stints, Tuchel has been sacked following spats with his bosses – he is clearly a manager that needs control, and at Chelsea, only one man holds such power.
Roman Abramovich has invested heavily in Chelsea since he took over but his power at Stamford Bridge is absolute. If Tuchel is going to clash with another employer, the odds on him falling out with Abramovic seem incredibly high.
Things may still work out for Tuchel. He has connections with a lot of the players, gets results from his players, and plays entertaining football. But for me, this seems too lethal a mix for long term success.
Condolences for Frank Lampard, who will have been wanting a little more time to turn things around. Chelsea will be hoping that this change will get their season back on track and launches them into the Champions league places.