Set up to fail…
At around 1:30 – 2:00 pm IST on Monday, reputed English Chelsea journalist tweeted that Frank Lampard was going to be sacked imminently. I was out for lunch and thankfully I had finished eating because it was a gut punch. I went on twitter hoping that this was some sort of spoof or mistake, surely Lampard couldn’t be sacked not after there was information out that Chelsea were looking to give him a few more games at least. It wasn’t so as more journalists began to report it and things began to become clear. If one was to summarise the situation in one sentence it would be that Frank Lampard was set up to fail from the very beginning at Chelsea. It seems that he was on a retainer from day one and any period of poor form would have led to the sack. In this post I’ll go through what happened and we will look back at some of the positive things that Lampard leaves behind.
From all the reports that have come out of which there have been many, there seems to be a trifecta of problems that led to Lampard losing the job. Firstly, Lampard and Marina Granavoskaia fell out, and seems to have happened last season itself. The fact that Lampard and Chelsea failed to bring in a player in the winter seemed to have caused a rift between the two. Lampard wanted Rice and Chelsea chose to go for other players instead. This clearly shows that club was setting itself up for another manager already. Once you fall out with Marina then the writing is always on the wall and this time Frank Lampard’s status at the club wasn’t even enough.
Second, was Abramovich losing trust in Frank. Roman Abramovich is a business man first and someone who does truly back the club. Roman smelt and by accounts still smells a chance to win the title and after Man City and Leicester he seems to have decided that Lampard wasn’t the one that was going to deliver success this season. It’s not something to boast about but it shows how highly regarded Frank was that Roman himself gave a message in the official post. I similar to many Chelsea fans thought that with Lampard we were looking to ride through a rough patch and that recent seasons had shown that Roman will trust the manager if there is a chance of Silverware, clearly not the case. We can reset that mid season sacking counter to zero.
The final and most gut wrenching of reasons was that player power struck again. Players that Frank wanted out in the summer stuck around and caused mischief behind the scenes that led to an uneasy environment in the squad. Rudiger especially has come in bad light as it has come out that he spoke with Tuchel weeks back and that he discouraged young players because they were playing at his expense. There are also reports of him having fought with Azpi because Azpi was trying to resolve the situation while he was causing problems. There are a couple of other names mostly fringe players who never got a look in like Alonso but Rudiger seems to be the chief perpetrator. Lampard did get too many players but on top of that we failed to move the deadwood on and it caused problems. Unhappy players always cause an issue. Rudiger might get a new lease of life under Tuchel because the manager apparently likes him but if Tuchel knows what’s best for himself he won’t get Rudiger anywhere near the team. Player power has been an issue at Chelsea for years now but the fact that Rudiger who really doesn’t have anything to shout about caused problems for Frank Lampard, that is something fans won’t ever forgive. Tuchel if you want to get off on the right foot drop Rudiger all together and may he never start a game for Chelsea.
What can I say about Frank Lampard sure he was inexperienced and for that was probably his greatest flaw but we as fans were ready to give him the time. It all makes sense now, starting Rudiger in two games out of the blue. Giving Mount the captaincy in what would be his final game. In context it all makes sense. There was unity last season, we had a young squad and got a new culture into the club. This season we got new signings that were exciting and Lampard backed them till the very end. Lampards biggest legacy that he leaves behind this time will be the injection of academy players into the first team squad. We are set for several seasons if our trend continues and hopefully Tuchel does continue that. I really don’t want to say too much on Lampard because it hurts, but also because I know he will be back in the distant future. Older and wiser with many trophies Frank Lampard will feel that this is unfinished business and he will return to lead Chelsea Football Club to success under his management.
I’ll talk about what comes next in a separate post once things are announced but there are certain steps that the board and new manager have to take. They have backed themselves into a tight corner and there are only a couple of ways they can get out of it. For now it’s thank you Frank, I wish you all the luck in your career ahead an dI hope you win several trophies as a manager. I hope to see you return to this massive club one day and guide us to more success and trophies. Thank you Super Frank a legend forever.