Chelsea have sacked Frank Lampard with immediate effect after just 18 months in charge following a run of poor results.
Lampard joined the club in July 2019 as he succeeded Maurizio Sarri as permanent manager after previously making 648 appearances for the Blues in all competitions as a player between 2001-14.
Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich admitted in a statement that dismissing Lampard has been a “very difficult decision” for the club to make, acknowledging his own “excellent personal relationship” with Lampard given their history of success together over nearly two decades.
Abramovich also praised Lampard as “a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics”, although a dip in form with just four wins in their last ten across all competitions has led to Lampard’s exit despite beating Luton 3-1 in the FA Cup less than 24 hours earlier.
Speaking on behalf everyone at the club, Abramovich said; “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.”
On Lampard’s legacy at the club despite his untimely departure, Abramovich said; “… his status here remains undiminished.”
Chelsea’s decision to change manager ultimately boiled down to a run of poor results in the league, which has left the club sat ninth ‘without any clear path to sustained improvement’ moving forwards.
A new manager will be announced in due course with ex PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel emerging as favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea set to host Wolves in midweek Premier League action on Wednesday 27 January 2021.
Lampard ‘deserved more time’
Whilst this decision shouldn’t come as a surprise given how trigger happy Abramovich is when results fall, there is an argument that Lampard perhaps deserved more time in the way that Manchester United supported Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he found himself in this very situation 12 months ago.
Lampard last season had to work under a transfer embargo which led to several youngsters like Fikayo Tomori, Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham breaking through into the first team, yet managed to guide the Blues to fourth and finished as runners-up in last season’s FA Cup Final.
This season saw Lampard receive his first opportunity to properly impose his style of football with arrivals of Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner amongst others, with only Mendy and Chilwell really impressing in all competitions.
Lampard though has placed renewed focus on providing a pathway for academy players to graduate into the first team, given the club’s reputation for failing to give many youngsters opportunities within the first team in the last decade.
Add in the fact that this season is more congested and Chelsea have found themselves in four competitions, you have to feel Lampard has been hard done by but football is a results based business and the results haven’t been good enough in recent weeks.