Chelsea’s recent poor form continues over the weekend after they were beaten by Manchester City at home in one of the poorest performance of the season. After going seventeen games without defeat, Frank Lampard’s side have picked up just four points in their last six Premier League matches, which has led to question Lampard’s position as the coach of The Pride of London. The hierarchy at Chelsea have a decision to make. But is sacking Frank the right decision?
At the beginning of the 2018/19 season, the Chelsea board took on a project to transform the way Chelsea play, and they brought in Sarri with a long-term vision. After Sarri’s first season, he left due to the transfer ban and the club had to decide which path they wanted to tread on. Either look for a short-term fix to see the club through the ban, or continue the process Sarri started.
After Sarri left, the club had a pool of coaches who fit the profile of what they wanted, but most were skeptical about the ban and felt it was too risky and would leave a stain on their career should they fail to do a commendable job.
Frank Lampard was appointed on a three deal at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season to see the club through the ban and with a long term plan, because the club saw the potential in him. With only one season into management, Lampard had a very successful first season. He integrated a lot of our young talent and managed to secure a top four finish.
With over two hundred million pounds spent at the beginning of his second season in charge, all eyes were on Lampard and rightly so, considering how well he did the previous season. But the team needs time to gel, which was not helped by the peculiarity of this season which the board are aware of. With Covid-19 and a lack of preseason, the process was altered. The team was always going to need a bedding period, which in most cases is not always the best. After the defeat to Manchester City, Lampard reiterated the need for patience.
He said “The expectations after Leeds that we are title contenders were not real. I am real now in saying the club has to take pain for where we want to get to. Any build or re-build that we have with the players we brought in takes pain. That means pain on the pitch, pain behind-the-scenes and fight and character. That’s how you build.”
In as much as results need to improve quickly, the idea of a Lampard sack is quite premature. The team is going through a process like most teams this period. There’s no doubt in the quality present in the squad, but even gold goes through fire. The reality of Covid-19, tight schedule and injuries has meant that this team have not had time to play together consistently. The board are not unaware of the ground reality of the footballing world, and that was evident when they gave Lampard a three year contract. And until the team can have a season together and a proper preseason, one shouldn’t judge this team with the standards set by some of the best in Europe.
Written by- Ehiaghe Lewis (@lewiskid90)
Cover photo- The Guardian