When Frank Lampard, Chelsea legend, rival in the English Premier League, returned to Stamford Bridge to take over from the unpopular Italian Mauricio Sarri in the summer of 2019, he appeared to be the right coach for a team looking to start a new path.
But in the end it was nothing but an illusion, and on Monday, Lampard was eliminated in the same manner that 11 former coaches had suffered under the leadership of Russian club owner Roman Abramovich.
Last season, Lampard was widely praised for leading Chelsea to fourth place in the League and the FA Cup Final, despite the team being banned from entering into new contracts.
Under unusual circumstances, Lampard seized the opportunity to give youngsters such as Mason Mount, Reese James, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi the opportunity.
Their brilliance under his leadership gave hope for the start of a new path for Chelsea, which relied on bringing in prominent players in the transfers to achieve titles since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
📊 Chelsea managers points per game[Under the Roman Abramovich era] pic.twitter.com/Ub9Ntzcokg
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 20, 2021
Lampard enjoyed a full season of his honeymoon for two things, the first of which was his position in the club as the team’s historic goalscorer, and the second was that, unlike his predecessors, it was not possible to judge his efficiency in making use of Abramovich’s money.
After his amazing first season, the young coach was rewarded with 220 million pounds (about 300 million dollars) for spending in the transfer market on German duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech from Ajax Amsterdam, full back Ben Chilwell from Leicester City and goalkeeper Edward. Mindy from French Rennes.
As exciting as it was, the real test was about to begin, and Lampard – an insider scientist at Chelsea throughout his career – knew that.
And when Chelsea maintained their unbeaten record in 17 games, it seemed that Lampard had succeeded in integrating the big signings into the framework he laid out during his first season.
But the young coach preferred to offer a dose of realism, continuing to reduce the possibility of the title competition, and said that his new team needed time to reach harmony.
Abramovich was not listening to him, and perhaps the verdict on the experience began to appear after Chelsea’s 1-0 loss at Everton Stadium last December.
Chelsea lost 5 of the last 8 games in the league to fall to ninth place, and Lampard lost his luster with his plans and choices to show his lack of experience as a coach.
And he failed to extract the best of his talented players, and Havertz and Werner did not appear as they did at Bayer Leverkusen and Leipzig respectively, and the influence of Ziyech was intermittent.
Lampard’s score in the match was the worst for any coach in the Abramovich era, and much less than Andre Velach Boach, but despite all this, Lampard will leave after Chelsea reaches the price of the Champions League final and the fifth round of the FA Cup and is only 5 points behind fourth-ranked Liverpool, which is What is hardly a crisis for most clubs.
But Chelsea returned to his style when the first sign of problems appeared through the intervention of Abramovich, who did not show his interest in the love of Chelsea fans for the man who won 3 league titles, 4 in the Federation Cup, and the Champions League title with the club as a player.
Unusually, Abramovi showed personal affection after Lampard’s dismissal. “It was a difficult decision for the club, because I have a good relationship with Frank and I respect him very much,” he said.
But that will not be enough for Lampard, who may indicate the patience of Manchester United with his coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, two months ago, when Chelsea was starring with Lampard, United was led by Solskjaer in the lower half of the ranking, and the future of the Norwegian coach was hanging by a thread.
Now United are leading the way, Chelsea are going in the opposite direction, and Lampard tastes the bitter side of a manager’s life for the first time.