Frank Lampard is reportedly on thin ice at Chelsea, as a report suggest that Blues owner Roman Abramovich is already looking at replacements for the young head coach as the position of the legendary former Chelsea midfielder is ‘under serious threat’ at Stamford Bridge.
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Per details in the report from The Athletic, Chelsea are looking at other managerial options as Lampard’s side were outclassed in a humbling 3-1 defeat by Manchester City which marks their fourth defeat in their last six games. The lack of effort and pride in their display will have concerned Lampard most.
Many would say that Lampard has been given a longer leash because he’s a Chelsea legend, and that’s probably true. But results matter, especially for Abramovich, and after stumbling to a top four finish last season it was just about job done amid a transfer ban and plenty of youngsters in the squad.
This season Chelsea haven’t kicked on, and Lampard’s big money signings have seen expectation levels go through the roof.
Speaking to the media after the game, Lampard was honest and admitted the first half wasn’t good enough and City’s tactics gave his players all kinds of problems. The latter is a reoccurring theme.
“The reality is for us, and is why when earlier in the season, a month ago, people were saying outside we could win the league, I was pretty sure where we were at in terms of the rebuild, in terms of the ban, new players in the team and the youth,” Lampard said. “There were periods of pain we were going to go through. As a club and individuals.”
“It was painful in the first half,” he continued. “For the players, I know that, we’ve got to get better at receiving the ball in tight areas, understand that when the press comes you have to accept it or miss the press out. When a team gives you a problem on the pitch that we talked about beforehand, it has to be dealt with in-game. In the first half we didn’t and in the second half we were better. But it was done.”
Lampard refused to blame the effort of his players, like he did in a recent defeat at Arsenal, but it was clear this display was far from good enough as they continue to slide down the table. Instead of being in a title race like many said they were last month, this festive period has shown us that they will be lucky to finish in the top four this season.
Could Lampard be done?
This seems a little early to be talking about Lampard being fired, but with the huge sums of money he spent this summer, this pressure was sure to arrive. With Kai Havertz and Timo Werner struggling massively, Lampard hung his hat on them being a success and they just haven’t been consistent enough.
Chelsea have papered over the cracks all season long and although the went on a long unbeaten run in the fall, it never felt too convincing and Lampard was never too convinced either.
18 months into the job you get the sense he still doesn’t know his best team, and his young players are making the same mistakes over and over again. Lampard is too, as his team are extremely naive defensively and it clear his full backs were targeted and couldn’t cope with City’s movement, but Lampard and his players did nothing about it. Or they couldn’t do anything about it, which is more concerning.
Lampard will feel the pressure being cranked up a few notches, and in just his third season as a head coach, it will be interesting to see how he, and his players, respond. Chelsea face Fulham, Leicester, Wolves and Burnley in their next four and anything less than 10 points will see further questions being asked of Lampard’s managerial ability.
Pulisic devoid of help in attack as USMNT concerned by Chelsea slump
USMNT star Christian Pulisic, 22, was one of the only positives for Chelsea as he again went the full 90 minutes and showed glimpses of his best form.
That said, he didn’t have much support and Pulisic knows that Chelsea are in a very tough spot given their recent form.
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“The first half, the way we conceded goals through a lot of counter situations and weren’t prepared to stop that, the first half let us down,” Pulisic said. “We are in a tough period right now. It is going to happen to everyone at times. We’ve been in this situation before and we have another situation next week where we need to turn it around, because we do need to start getting results quickly… It is not going to be easy but we need to show character now.”
Chelsea are in a tough spot, and Pulisic is doing his best to drag them through it. But there are a lot of young players looking confused and a young manager who looks under pressure on the sidelines.
The Blues are in a tough spot, and this seems like the closest Lampard has been to being fired by Chelsea.