Club legend Frank Lampard is out at Chelsea.
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Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea board made the ruthless decision to fire Lampard, 42, after 18 months in charge at Stamford Bridge after a run of five defeats in their last eight Premier League games left them five points off the top four.
As recently as Dec. 5, Chelsea were top of the Premier League table but Lampard’s young side have spiralled down the league with poor performances matching their defeats. It is believed the board were concerned with the lack of progress of the squad and that the youngsters lacked confidence.
Add to that over $300 million spent on new players this summer, and pressure was piled on Lampard in just his second season in charge of the club where he is the all-time leading goalscorer.
Here is the classy statement Frank Lampard released after he was fired by Chelsea.
“It has been a huge privilege and an honour to manage Chelsea, a club that has been a big part of my life for so long. Firstly, I would like to thank the fans for the incredible support that I have received over the last 18 months. I hope they know what that means to me,” Lampard said.
“When I took on this role I understood the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult time for the football club. I am proud of the achievements that we made, and I am proud of the academy players that have made their step into the first team and performed so well. They are the future of the club.
“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level. I want to thank Mr Abramovich, the board, players, my coaching team and everyone at the club for their hard work and dedication, especially in these unprecedented and challenging times. I wish the team and the club every success for the future.”
Via Opta here are a few key stats on Lampard’s time in charge of Chelsea:
- Frank Lampard’s points per game average of 1.67 is the 4th lowest of any permanent Chelsea manager in the Premier League.
- In the Roman Abramovich era, only Andre Villas-Boas (47.5%) has a worse win rate in all competitions amongst permanent Chelsea managers than Frank Lampard (52.4%).
- Since the start of last season, only Newcastle (54) have conceded more away goals in the Premier League than Frank Lampard’s Chelsea (50).
- Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in just 17% of their away games in the Premier League under Frank Lampard (5/29); among those to have taken charge of 10+ away games in the competition, this is the lowest percentage of any Chelsea manager.
- Since August 2019, Chelsea have won just 15 points against fellow ‘big six’ sides, a joint-low tally alongside Arsenal. The Blues have scored 17 goals and conceded 28 times in 15 such matches.
- Chelsea have kept 13 clean sheets in 29 games in all competitions this season, the same tally as they kept in 55 matches in the whole of 2019-20.
Here’s what the statement from Chelsea said after they fired Lampard.
“Chelsea Football Club have today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard. This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly. We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
“There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.
Roman 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.’
Thomas Tuchel up next for Chelsea
Chelsea said they will ‘be making no further comment until such time as a new head coach is appointed’ but our partners at Sky Germany believe Thomas Tuchel will be in charge in a few days’ time. Maybe even for the game against Wolves on Wednesday.
Tuchel was fired by Paris Saint-Germain in December but his quality as a coach is undoubted and he’s improved young players at Borussia Dortmund and PSG and that will be his main task here. He will also be tasked with improving Chelsea defensively and making them better tactically.
New signings and fellow Germans Kai Havertz and Timo Werner will be his main projects to work on, while Tuchel also coached Christian Pulisic at Dortmund, so this could work out well for the USMNT star as Tuchel really kickstarted his career in the Bundesliga.
Tuchel has long wanted a move to the Premier League and after he guided PSG to the UEFA Champions League final last season, this seemed like this natural next step.
However, this firing seems harsh on Lampard, especially after the transfer ban last season as he guided Chelsea to the top four and the FA Cup final under very tough circumstances. But Chelsea are a ruthless club and Tuchel is one of the top coaches in Europe and is available right now.
The fact that Abramovich made a public statement shows just how much he respects Lampard, as Chelsea’s owner rarely speaks about the club and decisions made.
Lampard’s fate has been sealed, perhaps for a while, but he will likely get another Premier League job after showing glimpses of what he can achieve in tough circumstances.