Frank Lampard knows the demands of being a Chelsea manager under Roman Abramovich having played for nine different coaches during his footballing career at Stamford Bridge.
Now Lampard is the man in the firing line after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City capped a run of one win in six games that looks to have extinguished any hope of a Premier League title challenge.
Much more was expected of the Blues after a £220 million ($300 million) spending spree in the transfer market at a time when most of European football’s major powers were scaling back due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
After bankrolling the purchases of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy, Abramovich will have expected more than Chelsea’s position of eighth in the table nearly halfway through the season.
Patience has not been a virtue of the Russian’s 18-year reign as Chelsea owner and even a club legend like Lampard, who is the club’s all-time top goalscorer, is unlikely to be afforded much more time to turn the situation around.
The Athletic reported on Sunday that Chelsea are already lining up suitable candidates should the 42-year-old be sacked.
Lampard does have some credit in the bank from his first season in charge, which took the club back into the Champions League despite a transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
But expectations have changed since the summer spending spree, even if Lampard has always cautioned Chelsea will need more time to match the standards set by Liverpool and City in recent seasons.
But the manner of defeat to a City side depleted by coronavirus infections and who have struggled to score goals this season, offered little sign of what Lampard is trying to build towards. – AFP