Premier League

Lampard sacked: What next for Chelsea?

Club legend Frank Lampard has been sacked this morning by Chelsea FC, after a hit and miss start to the season. It appears that the reason he has been sacked is not however solely down to the position in the league, 9th at the time of writing, but also in part to the lack of real results from his £200 million plus haul in summer. In the summer window, Lampard brought in a range of talents from across the world, with veteran defender Thiago Silva through to German goalscorer Timo Werner. Of these new signings, the most successful has been Edouard Mendy, who seemed to be the fix for the Blues long term goalkeeper issues, but this has been ignored largely due to the failure of the more expensive additions to the side.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: Thiago Silva of Chelsea is discussion with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy during the Premier League match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage on January 16, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

After last season and the transfer ban Chelsea had been handed due to illegal acquisition of youth players, Roman Abramovic gave Lampard a huge wad of cash to spend in the summer, and on paper it looked like a hugely successful window, especially given the current climate of uncertainty within football.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz both could have signed for almost any club they liked, so getting both through the door at Chelsea looked like some excellent business. Alongside these two, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Edouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech and no huge departures looked like a half decent season was on the cards. It can’t have gone more wrong. Werner can barely hit the target, Havertz is often dropped for Mason Mount and Hudson-Odoi preferred over Ziyech have been surprising for fans. So what does the future hold for Chelsea?

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: Timo Werner of Chelsea celebrates with team mate Kai Havertz after scoring their side’s second goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Morecambe at Stamford Bridge on January 10, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

It looks like Thomas Tuchel is favourite to take over in the now-vacant managers position, and he may be just what the Blues need. Following a spell at Paris Saint Germain, where the club only really wants one trophy and if you don’t win it you are sacked, he did not win the champions league, but won everything else in his time in France. As a manager, he has a certain preference to the 4-2-3-1 formation, and at Paris the 4 attackers used regularly were Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappe and Icardi, with both Neymar and Di Maria taking a role moving from the left wing into the centre, and Mbappe acting as a secondary striker behind a out-and-out finisher in Icardi. The focus was on largely fast attacks, and a pressing system which focused on targeting weak areas of defences.

This may be perfect to fill Lampards role. At Chelsea, they have a striker with pace in Timo Werner, a left-footed number 10 in Havertz, and a large range of wingers who all offer different abilities. This ability to chop and change may favour Tuchel, As It gives him the ability to change his front four depending on the game, and even change it in game.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 23: Thomas Tuchel, coach of PSG, during the post-match press conference following the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and RC Strasbourg at Parc des Princes stadium on December 23, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

He has also worked with Thiago silva previously, and will have a knowledge of Mendy from his time in France, as well as being a big fan of an attacking full back, occasionally using both Alessandro Florenzi and Juan Bernat as secondary attackers at PSG, allowing them to roam up the pitch and stay wide in the gaps left by Neymar and Di Maria whilst the pair cut inside. With Ben Chilwell and Reece James, The blues have a different kind of full back, but we have seen Chilwell get up the pitch before, especially whilst at Leicester.

If Tuchel can get the best out of the side Lampard has left him, maybe Chelsea fans can be optimistic in the second half of the season, and see the Blues qualify for Europe and maybe even have a decent run of games, whilst getting the most out of £200 million worth of talent.

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All images credits to Getty.

Sam Hutchison.

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