Club legend or not, Frank Lampard’s semi-failure to knit together a squad filled with expensive new players looks like it will cost him his role as Chelsea head coach – and a comfortable FA Cup win over Luton isn’t going to change that. The Telegraph’s Matt Law reports:
Confirmation is expected to come today after Chelsea’s players were told not to report to the training ground until Monday afternoon.
A text went around the entire first-team squad on Monday morning to inform them that training was delayed, as Chelsea prepared a statement.
Lampard was called in to meet with Chelsea board members to be informed of the news, 18 months into the three-year contract he signed as Chelsea head coach.
Chelsea were not commenting on the situation, but it is understood that former Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel will replace Lampard.
Lampard had hoped to be given time to turn around Chelsea’s poor Premier League form and the FA Cup success over Luton looked to be a step in the right direction.
But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich decided to act in a bid to save Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Even by Roman Abramovich’s standards (e.g. sacking Carlo Ancelotti in his second season after finishing second in the league), this feels like a particularly ruthless decision, but, as I’ve written before, Tuchel would be a significant upgrade on Lampard – purely in terms of coaching ability. Plus Tuchel should be able to connect better with compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who, let’s not forget, were both substantial investments by the club.
On the other hand, there is a case for Abramovich being patient: Chelsea are in a slump, no doubt, but you have to give Lampard time to try to get out of that slump – otherwise why bother hiring him in the first place. Lampard did pretty well securing a top-four finish after losing Eden Hazard and having a transfer ban last season. I guess that many Chelsea fans would be on his side despite their patchy form of late.
Do you think Chelsea should sack Lampard or give him more time?
UPDATE: Lampard has indeed been sacked. Chelsea released a statement confirming it. Abramovich said:
This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
On behalf of everyone at the Club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.
Wow, they actually did it!