After roughly a week of swirling rumors, I woke today to the news that Chelsea have sacked manager and club legend Frank Lampard. This further proves the total carelessness of Roman Abramovich. Sure, I chose Chelsea to win the league and they’re sitting 9th in the table at the halfway mark. But there are a number of factors that go into their form, and it’s likely they will have turned it around.
Lampard leaves behind a very young squad still attempting to find their footing. It’s well documented that making the transition into the very physical Premier League can be a tough one. That’s particularly true for young players. So when you’re looking at German starlets like Timo Werner and Kai Havertz and wondering why they can’t get it together, it’s because they need time.
Christian Pulisic has been a rare exception to that rule, but he’s been in and out of injury. Hakim Ziyech didn’t play for Chelsea for months after he signed because of injury. Even Kai Havertz missed time with rather heavy Covid symptoms. And if you look beyond the new guys, you also have to think about the fact that, of a projected starting XI for this team, more than 50% had never played with each other before.
Frank simply hasn’t been given a fair chance.
Chemistry doesn’t happen overnight. It just doesn’t. And Frank was doing something that Chelsea has been historically unwilling to do. Play the kids. Mason Mount came to Chelsea because he played under Lampard at Derby County, and the kid has grown immensely under his tutelage. If I’m a Blues fan, I’m concerned about his continued growth. Reece James has mostly been a revelation. Will that continue?
Frank Lampard was simply not given enough time to impart his will and style on the team and pull all the pieces together. This is a heartless, stupid, tone-deaf move by Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea Board of Directors. And Chelsea’s young stars are going to suffer from Lampard’s departure.
It hasn’t been made official yet, but all signs seem to be pointing to Thomas Tuchel taking over at Stamford Bridge. This would be a solid signing for Chelsea, but it speaks to the tone-deaf nature of Chelsea as a football club today.
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