90min
Chelsea

Breaking down why Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea

Tom Gott
Frank Lampard's time at Chelsea is over
Frank Lampard's time at Chelsea is over / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images
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The return of Frank Lampard to Chelsea in 2019 was supposed to bring the happy times back to Stamford Bridge, but here we are, 18 months later, and fans are as low as they have ever been.

The club's record goalscorer was given his marching orders after a poor run of results, but as reports from The Telegraph and The Athletic have shown, on-field performances were one of many, many things spiralling out of control under Lampard.

Let's take a look at some of the key problems.


Underwhelming results

Chelsea failed to beat their rivals
Chelsea failed to beat their rivals / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Starting with the obvious one, Lampard's Chelsea weren't beating the top sides and had stopped picking up results against smaller ones. Regardless of whether they were in a transitional period or not, that won't cut it.

Roman Abramovich was concerned by the enormous gap between his side and Liverpool and Manchester City, and while it's not those specific teams this year that are climbing away, the point is Chelsea aren't in the leading pack. Again.

The bare minimum was Chelsea must get back to the Champions League, and the fear was that Lampard wasn't capable of delivering that.


Unhappy players

Rudiger was unimpressed to be out on the fringes
Rudiger was unimpressed to be out on the fringes / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Lampard's desire to bring in youth players was exciting, but it also left him with a whole host of disgruntled senior players who were forced to watch on from the sidelines.

Antonio Rudiger clashed repeatedly with captain Cesar Azpilicueta over his lack of minutes, while Marcos Alonso, Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga are all thought to have made their frustrations abundantly clear.

Some of the younger players in the team even complained about how some senior team-mates acted towards them, with claims that Lampard was favouring them because of their status as academy graduates a common thing.

Chelsea did try to offload a lot of those players in the summer but failed to find buyers, leaving Lampard with a bloated squad and a dark cloud over Cobham.


The Declan Rice pursuit

It's no secret that Lampard wanted to bring West Ham's Declan Rice back to the club, but Chelsea weren't happy with the idea of dropping a cool £80m on a player they had released as a kid,

A source told The Athletic in December: “He needs to stop pushing for Rice or he’ll lose his job. The hierarchy are very wary about the potential embarrassment of buying back an academy reject at huge expense.”

Lampard didn't stop pushing, and tentions with Marina Granovskaia only grew.


Benching Kepa Arrizabalaga

Could you really blame Lampard on this one?
Could you really blame Lampard on this one? / Clive Rose/Getty Images

After an abysmal 2019/20 season, Lampard benched the world's most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga. He pushed for, and got, Edouard Mendy from Rennes as his replacement, but Granovskaia was unimpressed to see her investment in Kepa wasted.

Club chiefs wanted Lampard to try and work with Kepa to bring out the best in the Spaniard, but Lampard had grown tired and wanted somebody new instead. It was left to Granovskaia and Petr Cech to deal with the goalkeeper.

Kepa was left feeling as though Lampard could have done more to help him, and the board agreed.


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