Chelsea: Lampard's COVID concerns after Man City tests
Chelsea sacking Frank Lampard could have taken a giant step closer. The Blues boss saw his side draw 1-1 with Aston Villa on Monday night, meaning they’ve won just one of their last five Premier League matches. And with a report suggesting Roman Abramovich is a huge admirer of Thomas Tuchel, a parting of the ways could soon be on the cards.
For Chelsea, current results aren’t good enough.
Having spent over £250million on new faces such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell back in the summer, the Blues expected to be challenging for the Premier League title.
But, as we near the halfway point in the campaign, that hasn’t happened.
Chelsea have been inconsistent this season, with their new players struggling to gel. Werner hasn’t found the net in his last 11 matches, while Havertz looks a shadow of the player he was at Bayer Leverkusen.
Results on the pitch make for grim reading, too.
While Villa have been brilliant this season – upsetting the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal – a Chelsea side with over £250m worth of investment should have put them to the sword.
But, instead, they were forced to settle for a frustrating point.
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Beforehand, Chelsea had slumped to defeats against Arsenal, Wolves and Everton. Nine points dropped – and now two more.
BILD claimed on Monday that, should Lampard oversee a defeat against Villa, he’d be out of the job. What’s more, is Tuchel would be in line to take over.
But while that didn’t happen, the result is a setback nonetheless.
And it’s raised yet more questions over Lampard and his suitability to the job, with the former Blues No 8 still learning his trade as a manager after two full seasons in that role – including one at Derby County.
Chelsea’s hopes of winning the title, while not over, are hanging by a thread.
Liverpool will move nine points clear of the west London side should they get the better of Newcastle on Wednesday night and their electric form suggests they’ll be difficult to oust from top spot.
Chelsea’s cause has been helped by the fact rivals Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester United have all blown hot and cold throughout the course of the campaign.
Yet there’s currently more negatives than positives about Lampard’s side.
And let’s face it, Abramovich has sacked managers for a lot less in the past.
The Russian didn’t hesitate to axe Claudio Ranieri in 2003, despite the Italian steering them to a second-placed finish in the Premier League table.
It was a similar story with Jose Mourinho (both in 2007 and 2015), while Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo were both relieves of their duties even though the Blues were flying at the time.
With the spectre of Tuchel looming large, Chelsea’s latest setback is a major blow to Lampard and his chances of staying in the job.
And whether he gets much longer at Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton thinks things could turn ugly for Lampard in the capital after the Villa draw.
“At the moment, they are a crisis club because they are underperforming,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“They are flat and that’s why Frank needs to get a few wins under his belt and extremely quickly because it can, as we know, turn ugly at Chelsea.”
He then added: “Whether we like it or not, this is a totally different season for Frank.
“The pressure is on; he has spent the big money. Now the pressure will build.
“I don’t want to go too early on Chelsea and Frank because if they win three on the spin, they will be up into second place and we’ll be saying ‘can they win the title again?’ and that’s the way it is.
“But I don’t think Chelsea can win the title. They have to get back to a way of playing where they really find their rhythm.”
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