It has recently been revealed that Marcos Alonso looks to be on his way out of West London this summer following a confrontation with manager Frank Lampard.
The Spaniard was substituted at half-time in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with West Brom on Saturday, having arguably been at fault for two of the goals that the Blues conceded in the first half.
According to a report from The Athletic, Alonso received a “furious dressing down” from Frank Lampard after he attempted to watch the second half of the game on the team bus rather than on the bench.
The report explains that the other players had never seen Lampard like that and they would be surprised if Alonso ever plays for Chelsea again. The left-back was previously linked with a move to Inter, where he could potentially reunite with former manager Antonio Conte in this remaining week of the transfer window.
We have also recently seen Antonio Rudiger dropped from the Chelsea squad ahead of a potential exit after falling out of the manager’s favour. Although there were no reports of a particular falling out between the pair, it is claimed that Lampard was not impressed by Rudiger’s arrogant attitude over the past few weeks and left him out of the squad against Liverpool to set an example for the other players.
You can also rewind to last summer when David Luiz attempted to force a move away from the club. Although Lampard had previously lauded his leadership skills and suggested that he would have a large role in the squad for the upcoming season, he was swift to let Luiz train alone before allowing him to leave the club with little hesitation.
Of course, we don’t know all the backstory behind these individual incidents, but what is clear is that discipline and respect are non-negotiable in Frank Lampard’s eyes. If you are not going to put in your best effort and follow the rules then don’t expect to be part of his plans.
The same applies to his team selections – apart from perhaps Mason Mount (if you want to be cynical), there are very few players who you would say are guaranteed a starting place at Chelsea no matter how well they play week-on-week. Albeit because of the emergence of exciting prospect Reece James, even club captain Cesar Azpilicueta struggles to tie down a regular starting spot in this side.
The same extends to the club’s policies. Even though Lampard talked highly of Willian and his role in the team last season, he seemingly chose not to breach Chelsea’s over-30 contract policy in order to meet the Brazilian’s contract length demands – he wanted 3-years but the club refused to budge on their offer of just 2-years.
To me, this was a very sensible decision to make. Not only was Willian not deserving of favour over the likes of John Terry and Michael Ballack who were only offered 1-year contracts after turning 30, but it was also not so long ago that Willian childishly covered Conte’s face with emojis in the FA Cup winning photo on Instagram before blaming it on his daughter. Is that really the sort of player we want at the club?
What all of this signifies is that the era of players having the power to sack the manager is gone. In the past, we’ve seen players accused of ‘not turning up’ for Jose Mourinho in 2015/16 prior to his sacking and Maurizio Sarri complaining that he found it “difficult to motivate” the squad.
In these cases, the fans and the media were quick to turn on the manager, but with Lampard, it would be much different. Not only would it take a lot for the fans to turn against Lampard even if results weren’t going their way, but the club appears to back him on his decisions too, as demonstrated by this summer’s transfer window.
This, coupled with the additions of players who have clearly been handpicked by Lampard as ones who have the right attitude, will surely set Chelsea up for success in the future. A base of hard-working individuals who are constantly striving to improve is exactly what you need in a squad if you want to compete for silverware, and the Frank Lampard era is only just getting started.