Frank Lampard has won just one of his last 17 games as a manager, losing 14 and drawing two. He was sacked in January after a poor run at Everton. Since returning to Stamford Bridge earlier this month to take charge of Chelsea following Graham Potter’s departure, he has lost three from three.
Chelsea and the Clearlake Capital consortium led by Todd Boehly, who took over the club in May last year, will hope Lampard can turn it around by masterminding a fightback against Real Madrid for a place in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday. . But they are left to cling on following a disastrous 11 months at the club. Unless the team can pull off a sporting miracle, Chelsea’s season will be over.
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Boehly predicted a 3-0 first leg win for Chelsea against the reigning European champions at the Santiago Bernabeu last week; The reality turned out to be a 2-0 defeat. Then again, since buying the club from Roman Abramovich for £4.25 billion last May, Boehly has become accustomed to getting things wrong; An overly optimistic score prediction is a bit further down the list of errors.
Bohely’s mistakes are well-documented: from sacking Champions League-winning coach Thomas Tuchel just seven games into the season and replacing him with Brighton boss Potter, spending more than £600m on new players and then sacking Potter earlier this month. Couldn’t get the best out of them. The decision was made to hire club legend Lampard to steady the ship until the end of the latest season.
Lampard was sacked by Everton less than a year after arriving at Goodison Park, after nine defeats in 12 Premier League games plunged the team into relegation trouble. His only qualification for the Chelsea role was his status as a legendary player at Stamford Bridge and he was already in charge of the club — an 18-month spell that ended in January 2021 after three wins from 10 games. .
Boehly and his board hoped that Lampard’s status as one of the club’s most respected former players would bring some calm, restore stability and give them time to finally hire the right manager. But if the results continue to be poor, Boehly may have to replace the supervisor with a firefighter. In the mess Chelsea find themselves in, they are closer to the relegation zone than the top four in both points and position.
None of this is Lampard’s fault. The 44-year-old was not going to turn down a second shot at his dream job despite his obvious flaws, but the truth is that his appointment once again points to the brazenness of Chelsea’s ownership regime.
Supporters’ frustrations mounted during Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Brighton, with Bohly booed by angry fans as he sat in his executive box at Stamford Bridge. During Abramovich’s 19-year reign as owner, Chelsea developed a reputation for hiring and firing managers, but they got it right more times than they got it wrong.
Yet after making hasty decisions on Tuchel, Potter and Lampard, can Boehly and co-sporting directors Lawrence Stewart and Paul Winstanley be trusted to make the right appointments this summer? If you consider the array of coaches under consideration, the early signs are not promising. Sources told ESPN earlier this month that Chelsea had as many as seven names on the list, including former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, former Spain coach Luis Enrique, former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino, Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti and Sporting. CP’s Reuben Amorim.
If Chelsea have a strategy, it’s hard to see what it is. Nagelsmann has a different tactical approach and personality to Luis Enrique, just as Pochettino plays differently to Ancelotti. Amorim has built an exciting squad in Portugal but others on the roster lack big-club experience.
Chelsea’s erratic approach has already seen them make fundamental mistakes in their recruitment process. It is a widely accepted policy by leading clubs to keep the recruitment process under the radar by sending executives to meet candidates at their homes, often in a different country, so that interviews can be conducted without the distraction of running commentary. their progress. But by allowing Luis Enrique to meet in London earlier this month — the day Lampard was announced as caretaker manager — Chelsea showed their hand to the outside world and other candidates.
Regardless of Chelsea’s problems this season and possible absence from European football next season, the managerial job at Stamford Bridge remains a prestigious position and will be prized by many of the world’s top coaches. This is the biggest advantage for Chelsea when they decide who to prioritize as their number 1 choice. But after one bad decision after another, the danger is that Boehly and Co. have failed to learn from their mistakes and set the club further back this summer.