Frank Lampard – Stick or twist?
During the stop/start 2019/20 Premier League season, life at Chelsea seemed all sunshine and rainbows. With a transfer ban, and a club legend at the helm, the season was quite simply a learning curve for Frank Lampard and his young side.
All in all, the season was a huge success. With a team based on raw young talent, coming 4th in the league, reaching another FA Cup Final, and qualifying from a tricky Champions League group, went above and beyond many fans expectations.
However, the end of the season also meant the end of Chelsea’s transfer ban. This seemed to be a great thing for the up and coming side, adding even more talent and depth to the squad. Hakim Ziyech had already signed an agreement to join Chelsea after a standout season at Ajax, with a fee of £36m seeming a bargain at the time. Both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz arrived from the Bundesliga, costing in the region of £120m combined. Ben Chilwell made the switch from Leicester to London, joining for around £50m, and the veteran centre back Thiago Silva joined the club on a free.
With all these new signings, a serious title challenged seemed inevitable. With a strong performance against Brighton, followed by a serious string of goalkeeping errors at home to Liverpool, the club decided to finally bite the bullet and bench Kepa Arrizabalaga, signing Edouard Mendy from Rennes. This seemed to be the turning point in Chelsea’s season. 14 games unbeaten soon followed, and the side were absolutely flying, as predicted by many at the start of the season.
Next up for Chelsea was a trip to Goodison Park to take on a bogey side of theirs, Everton. As like so often in the blue side of Merseyside, Chelsea lost. This started the serious dip in form. With losses to Wolves, Arsenal and Manchester City soon following, and a draw at home to Aston Villa, the train had started to come off the rails. Chelsea are now 10 points off the top of the table after 17 games, with some critics calling for Lampard to be fired.
As seen in recent years, Roman Abramovich isn’t afraid to shuffle his deck and replace managers after poor performances on the field, but this seems different. A club legend and fan favourite Frank Lampard seems to be part a long term plan. As a Chelsea fan myself, I more than agree with this logic, and most of the Chelsea fans I know are on the same page. Super Frank is trying to build a long term project here and giving him the boot after a few bad results is definitely not the best choice.
Talks of Avram Grant returning in a back room role to help Lampard also shows that Mr Abramovich has faith, like so many at Stamford Bridge, in a player we owe a great deal to.
Here’s hoping for a change in fortunes for Lampard and Chelsea, sooner rather than later!
Would you stick with Lampard or twist?
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