Chelsea: Should Frank Lampard be concerned for his Job?

Frank Lampard, Chelsea (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Frank Lampard, Chelsea (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Frank Lampard is a club legend, but Roman Abramovich is a man without patience

And surely, his patience is wearing thin with Chelsea as it is currently situated. After an outpouring of capital in the hundreds of millions, regardless of your currency, the lack of ambition or success against the most talented clubs this season must surely have Frank Lampard on the proverbial hot seat.

The owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, is both a wealthy Russian oligarch as well as a remarkably impatient football owner. After the impatience he demonstrated with both Maurizio Sarri and his predecessor Antonio Conte, it is small wonder that he has survived this long; one suspects that his time as a player likely has provided him with more cushion than even seasoned managers might expect.

Yet he is not safe to remain the manager, and until Chelsea improve their form against the best of England, he will remain unsafe. While his forays in Europe remain feasible, if not entirely likely given his clubs current form, that success alone will not save his position, of which might be snapped up by one of the proven names on the market.

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In hindsight, it appears as if the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal was a pivotal moment for each manager, given what has unfurled for each in the months since. With the victory, Mikel Arteta was given a shock first trophy for an Arsenal team that had looked pathetic for large portions of the Premier League campaign.

With the win, Arsenal would gain qualification to both Europe through the Europa League, as well as an opportunity to play Liverpool in the FA Community Shield. With that shock victory to begin the new season, Arteta has been able to weather poor form from his superstars, traditional injuries, COVID-19 and shock losses on top of shock losses. And with the recent turn in form, it appears as though patience is again prevailing where reactionary bluster might have once ruled.

Frank Lampard on the other hand, while firmly in the Champions League with Chelsea, did not come away from his fist year with silverware, something that his direct predecessor had been able to do, despite the friction Sari caused across Stamford Bridge. And so that inability to secure silverware has burdened him, perhaps unnecessarily, with greater pressure at this point than he likely deserves.

While his team is very talented and expensive, they are very young with lots new to the Premier League altogether; but as one watches Frank Lampard get thoroughly out managed by Pep Guardiola, something that many fall victim to, it is hard not to think that even he feels the pressure acutely.

Should he receive assurance and further backing by ownership, January could see more additions, Declan Rice is a name that is constantly floated when Chelsea are talked of. Yet he loves being a Hammer, and would surely be remarkably expensive even for a Russian oligarch. No, it feels as though Lampard and Chelsea will have to show more ambition before help with such a price tag would be delivered; luckily for all parties involved, January still has a docket full of chances to prove both ambition and volition.

Unfortunately, they won’t be against any of the top tier talent that could bolster their case for true contention. The FA Cup 3rd Round against Morecambe should be a chance to flex on an obviously weaker club, before dates at Fulham and Leicester City follow. The month rounds out at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea hosting Wolves and Burnley. A clean sweep of the rest of January would likely prove a useful remedy to the current whispers surrounding Frank’s viability moving ahead; they will need both confidence and reinforcements for their date at Tottenham at the start of February.

I believe that Frank Lampard is safe for this season, unless things go sideways in a remarkable way, remarkably quickly. I believe he will get a small boost of players this January as well, but I wouldn’t be shocked to hear him fired as Chelsea turn to Thomas Tuchel or Massimiliano Allegri. Those two are proven, brilliant minds, and as highly as I think of the Englishman, his CV simply doesn’t stack up to theirs. Would it be too quick? Probably. But at Chelsea, time seems to move quicker than elsewhere, as even the current boss has recognized from his own time as a player; and he could find himself its next victim should he not tread carefully across January and beyond.

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