Where it Has All Gone Wrong for Frank Lampard at Chelsea

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Out of seemingly nothing, Chelsea and Frank Lampard are in crisis mode. In a month, Lampard has gone from a comfortable long-term project manager to reportedly on the verge of the sack.

After four losses in six games, most recently another humiliating loss to Manchester City, Roman Abramovich sacking Lampard would surprise nobody. But how has he put his career in jeopardy so quickly?

Chelsea: Where It’s All Gone Wrong for Frank Lampard

Tactics Under Fire

After being outclassed and torn apart by City in the first half, we can’t be sure if it’s the players underperforming or the manager’s tactics that has put Chelsea in this slump. In truth, it may be a little of both.

Lampard is not fully responsible for everything, but he has to take some blame. His game-plan is centred on finding the fullbacks and wingers in crossing positions and getting the ball in the box. However, Olivier Giroud, arguably the best header of the ball in the Premier League, didn’t see the pitch against Man City.

With Timo Werner playing centrally, Chelsea would’ve been better suited focusing on link-up play down the middle with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, as well as feeding Werner in behind.

It’s not easy to make the German the centrepiece of the team when he’s performing so badly, though, and Lampard will have some decisions to make ahead of the next match, provided he’s still in charge.

If he wants to continue his focus on getting the ball out wide for crosses, Werner cannot be the starting striker. At 34-years-old, Giroud is outclassing him every game, and even Tammy Abraham deserves the start over him at the moment.

Whatever happens, Lampard’s tactics aren’t working at the moment. He needs to figure out a way to turn it around before Abramovich steps in and does it for him.

Players Out of Position

Pulisic and Ziyech’s injuries put Lampard in a position where he had no wingers to call upon. He decided to put Werner on the wing, where he wasn’t up to it. He is not a winger, plain and simple, and it took Lampard too long to learn that lesson.

Kai Havertz also played on the wing at times, and he’s equally ineffective there. He’s showing signs of getting back in form, delivering the assist to Callum Hudson-Odoi for the consolation goal. However, he needs to play as a No. 10, or at least an attacking No. 8, to be at his best.

Playing the players in their natural positions is the most basic fix for a manager. Lampard did that against City, yet the performances of the players didn’t back him up.

Striker or not, Werner doesn’t deserve to be starting at the moment. Giroud always seems to score when called upon, and results matter more than the German’s development.

Lampard has a lot to work on, and at least he’ll benefit from an extended break before the next fixture. Despite all the rumours, it’s unlikely Abramovich will sack him just yet. He’s on wafer-thin ice, though, and the owner will be making that clear to him.

It’s not all Frank Lampard’s fault, but he’s not doing himself, or Chelsea, any favours at the moment. He must use the next few weeks to wonder why it’s all gone wrong, talk with his players, and devise a plan to get everyone out of this rut.

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