‘Super Frankie Lampard’ is undoubtably one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players to grace the pitch at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder player 648 games for the Blues and is their all time record goal scorer, hitting the back of the net a cool 211 times. He won all there was to win with the club, 3 Premier Leagues, 1 Champions League, 1 Europa League, 4 FA cups, 2 League cups and 2 Community Shields. He’s now back again at the club, this time managing. Last season, a top four finish for Lampard was pretty good, after losing their best player in Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, he had to work with what he had and managed to integrate youth talents such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham into the squad. However, a shaky run of form recently has seen questions being asked of him. Is Frank Lampard the right man to lead Chelsea FC to where they want to be?
Last season was somewhat of a transitional period for Chelsea and you could argue that they are still in this period of change, with young players such as Mason Mount still finding their feet in the top flight of English football and new signings such as Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech still adapting to the demands of the Premier League, Chelsea’s squad doesn’t quite look settled yet. And I’d say that’s fair enough, it’s a pretty much new look squad with a new manager looking to make his mark on the club, there are going to be teething problems and there are going to be points where questions are asked.
However, in the summer transfer window Chelsea spent over £200 million on new transfers, with Marina Granovskaia heading up the negotiations to bring new players such as Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell across to West London. Some of these players, most notably Timo Werner from RB Lepizig and Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen who were arguably the two most high profile deals have failed to make an impact so far at their new club. So now we start to see a lot of money being spent, with little results to show for it, which I feel is pretty worrying for Frank Lampard. On the other hand, Chelsea need to make sure they don’t make the same mistake that they made with players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah, who were let go due to their inability to make a difference on the pitch and are now shining at their new respective clubs. The point still stands though, yes it’s understandable that young players such as Kai Havertz will need time to adapt to not only a completely different standard and style of football but also living in a new country, but Frank Lampard as a manager should be the one pushing these adaptations along and getting the best out of his big money signings.
Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovic is notorious for his cutthroat approach towards sacking managers, Lampard is the 12th manager since 2003 which really says something about the owner’s approach to hiring managers. Basically, win – or we’ll sack you. Chelsea’s current form makes that a bit of a worrying fact for Lampard, they sit 9th in the Premier League table, winning only 1 of their last 5 fixtures, losing 3 of these.
Managers need time though, and Jurgen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson are prime examples of this. Jurgen Klopp joined Liverpool in October 2015 and did not win the Premier League with them until the summer of 2020, whilst it took Sir Alex 4 years to win his first trophy at Manchester United. This is an obvious sign that Frank Lampard needs to be given time at Chelsea, changes aren’t made overnight and it will take him time to fully implement his style of play and the players he wants in the positions he wants them. Let’s not forget this is only Lampard’s third season as a manager.