Life comes at you fast huh?
Two weeks ago I wrote that the line had yet to have been drawn for Frank Lampard.
A week later, Manchester City embarrassed Chelsea, setting up to exploit their weaknesses and sending a stark reminder of just how far Chelsea have to go in order to ‘seriously’ be considered challengers.
Immediately after the game, The Athletic published a piece claiming Chelsea were actively sounding out new managers in case they decided to part ways with Lampard.
To be fair, it makes good business sense to do some forward planning. And in their defence, the form hadn’t been good and you could make valid claims that Lampard had ‘served his purpose’ but somebody with more experience of top level management was needed to move us forward.
It’s hoped, that as long as we’re there or there abouts in terms of reaching top four that Lampard will be given till the end of the season at the very least before reassessing.
The pressure that Lampard is under was shown in his team selection for the FA Cup game against Morecambe.
Lampard needs his team to find its confidence again and league two opposition, happy to allow Chelsea to play football in front of them, provided the perfect opportunity.
Timo Werner scored after the longest drought of his career. Kai Havertz is beginning to look like the player we knew he could be, and Callum Hudson-Odoi is providing more selection headaches for the manager.
In a normal situation, you possibly would’ve seen the likes of Lewis Bate, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Valentino Livaremento in the squad with Tino Anjorin starting but Lampard couldn’t allow even the slightest possibility that Morecambe could cause a cup set.
I don’t particularly blame Lampard for thinking like that, even though we probably could’ve been a bit more adventurous yesterday.
But let’s not forget this isn’t a situation that Lampard is overly familiar with, as poor form from a Chelsea team normally results in sackings.
And to be fair, Lampard has played his fair share in those decisions as part of a group of senior players that turned on Luis Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas respectively.
Perhaps that’s why we’re now bemoaning there’s a lack of leaders on the pitch, because the board has made a conscious decision to move away from player power.
But this also means the onus is totally on the manager and it appears that the line has been drawn.
That poor form will not be tolerated and a top four finish is a bare minimum target not something that will be celebrated this season after spending £200m+ on new players.
Getting a tune out of those new signings, Havertz and Werner in particular, is probably more important than any potential silverware, but as we all know, a lack of silverware won’t be accepted for too long.
The lines been drawn for now, but don’t count on it staying in the same place for too long.