Sure. Chelsea won the champions league this past season. What a bizarre statement to make that Frank should have been given more time. But when the board said that his time was up, their morals went out the window.
We know that each club has different hierarchies with different ambitions. Chelsea’s ambitions, unlike some top six clubs (Arsenal/Spurs), is to win at all costs. Park the bus? Well if it’s going to get our hands on some silverware, go ahead!
This approach has most certainly worked for the blues, collecting the most silverware in England since Abramovich toko over the club. But when Frank was appointed back in 2019, Chelsea fans thought this was going to be different. We knew Frank was an inexperienced manager and would be learning on the job.
What went wrong?
In his first season at the club, he lost a player who singlehandedly carried Chelsea for years in Eden Hazard. Arguably the most naturally talented player to ever wear the Chelsea shirt. To make matters even more difficult, he was not able to bring in any new players. Fortunately for Frank, he was spoilt with young talent from the Chelsea academy, and they sure made some names for themselves that season.
It is important to remember that before Frank took over, everybody was saying it is a re-building period for Chelsea. Yet that season they secured a champion’s league spot and reached an FA cup final. That summer, Chelsea had a huge spending spree and brought in 7 new faces to the club. But they did not offload anywhere near enough players to compensate for the new signings.
This resulted in Chelsea having almost two starting eleven-line ups which was inevitably going to cause a fuss as to who was picked and who was left out. This article is not about digging out individual players, but Frank seemingly saw more promise in the younger kids in the squad. To the fans, it was these youngsters that played for the badge. They worked their socks off and felt privileged to play for such a prestige club like Chelsea.
As the second season went on at Chelsea, it appeared that Frank did not have some players who wanted to work for him. As a young manager, his man management skills could very well have been what led to his downfall. What spiralled was a consecutive number of losses with little convincing that the blues were ever going to win a game.
It did not help Frank that in his second season, Tammy Abraham struggled to live up to his brilliant breakthrough season the year prior and new signings took a while to settle in and have performances that matched their price tags.
After 18 months of managing a club so close to his heart, Lampard got the axe from the boss. As a sign of respect, we saw a personal message from the owner himself explaining his decision to the fans. The decision carried split emotions amongst the Chelsea fans. When it was announced, there was a deep sadness because of Frank’s legendary stature. But it was a reminder that football is a business. Though we have seen in other big six clubs, when the going got tough, they stood by their appointed managers. We never know if something is the right decision until we look back. We see that now, having won the champions league, sacking Frank might have been the best business decision Chelsea have ever made. However, to the fans and those who view football as more than just a business, it strikes a deep chord to think what it would have been like seeing Frank guide that young Chelsea side to European glory.
I guess we will never find out. Unless he comes back…
I hope you enjoyed my take on this situation as a lifelong, die-hard Chelsea fan. Sure, I want to see our team win but seeing our greatest ever player in Frank Lampard lead us to silverware would have been so special.
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