Frank Lampard has had a tough time as Chelsea manager with seemingly nothing coming easy to him. He joined the club amid a transfer ban and had just lost star player Eden Hazard, yet he was able to guide the club to a fourth-place finish.
This summer, Roman Abramovich heavily backed him in the transfer market, spending over £200 million on some world-class players like Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech. Despite this, the club are languishing in ninth place, and his job could be under threat.
But how does Lampard’s results on the pitch compare to that of his most successful predecessors?
Comparing Frank Lampard’s Win Percentage to Previous Chelsea Managers
Frank Lampard as Chelsea Manager
Although Lampard finished fourth last season, it was during a season where no team besides Liverpool was particularly impressive. The rest of the chasing pack all underperformed, and that allowed Chelsea to slip into the top four.
Counting the beginning to this season, which has certainly been inconsistent, Lampard’s points-per-game ratio is 1.67, which is the lowest of any Chelsea manager under Roman Abramovich. His win percentage is also 51.3 per cent, the second-worst behind Andre Villas-Boas.
Granted, he has had several extenuating circumstances, such as the transfer ban, COVID-19, and having a very young squad that still needs some time to adapt to the Premier League. Lampard himself is also growing as a manager, and it’s a process that is only two years in the making.
He was never a win-now manager and barring any spectacular calamities, he will remain at the club at least until next season.
Jose Mourinho – The Special One at Chelsea
No manager has a greater history with Chelsea than the enigmatic genius that is Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese took Chelsea to three Premier League titles, as well as four domestic cups, during his two spells at the club. Known for his defensive style, his 2004/05 team famously only conceded just 15 goals during the entire season.
While never a long-term manager, he promised success in the short-term, and he certainly produced that. Despite all his flaws, including the disaster that was the 2015/16 season, he had an overall points-per-game ratio of 2.12, significantly better than Lampard’s.
Guus Hiddink – Caretaker Manager
One of the most interesting cases of Chelsea managers is the caretaker manager Guus Hiddink. He managed the club twice, each time for less than six months.
In his first spell in 2009, he had the highest win percentage of any Chelsea manager with 72 per cent. He guided the club back into the top four, won the FA Cup, and would’ve reached the Champions League final if not for the infamous semi-final against Barcelona.
However, in his second spell, he took over from Mourinho after inheriting a club not languishing in seventh, but in 16th, just one point off relegation. This time, he had the worst win percentage of any Chelsea manager with 37 per cent.
While his second spell took a toll on his record, he stabilised a club in crisis mode and set the stage for his successor to bring the club back to glory.
That successor is, of course, Antonio Conte. The Italian is one of the greatest ‘what could have been’ scenarios for Chelsea fans.
However, his public falling out with star striker Diego Costa, as well as his inability to finish in the top-four the following season, cost him his job. He still finished with a very impressive win percentage of 65 per cent and 2.11 points per game, good for Chelsea’s third-best manager statistically.
It’s worth noting, though, that he had to perform without a star striker for a good part of the season. Had Abramovich backed him financially the way he backed Lampard, Conte could’ve won many more trophies with Chelsea.
He is now thriving at Inter Milan, and will undoubtedly have success in the rest of his career, although it won’t be at Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti – Chelsea Double
Another successful Italian at Chelsea was Carlo Ancelotti. He’s responsible for the club’s only league and cup double in 2009/10, and he finished second the following season, which wasn’t deemed good enough and cost him his job.
The most memorable match of his reign will surely be the 8-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic on Championship Sunday to beat Manchester United to the title. Although he didn’t win enough or manage long enough to be considered a Chelsea legend, his win of 61.5 per cent is no mean feat.
He’ll be hoping to achieve similar success at Everton, where he is currently doing a tremendous job.
Avram Grant – Underrated Chelsea Manager
Arguably the most underrated manager in Chelsea history is Avram Grant. Replacing Mourinho just a month into the 2007/08 season, nobody ever considered him good enough to be replacing such a footballing legend.
However, he has the award of highest win percentage of any Chelsea manager, which he claimed during his sole season at the club. He won 67 per cent of his total matches, and his points-per-game ratio was 2.24.
The Israeli finished two points off top spot and reached the Champions League final in 2008. In fact, had he been at the club for the entire season and maintained his PPG, he would’ve beat United to the title. Unfortunately, the six games where he was not in charge meant he just missed out.
And of course, we all know what happened in the 2008 Champions League Final. As strange as it may sound, Avram Grant has John Terry and Jose Mourinho, two of the greatest-ever figures in Chelsea history, to blame for not winning the two greatest competitions in club football.
How Lampard Matches Up as Chelsea Manager
While it is true that he ranks joint-lowest in the important managerial statistics, no other manager has had the two seasons which he has had.
First, the transfer ban, and relying on youth players just out of the Championship to get him the top four. Second, despite all the money he spent, every single top-six club has underperformed slightly this season, and he has a team full of youngsters.
Whereas all the other successful managers either had a Didier Drogba in his prime, a Hazard in his prime, and of course, Lampard himself in his prime, the current boss only has raw potential, which is his job to maximise.
Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Mason Mount, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all superstars in the making, but none of them compare to Hazard or Drogba just yet. Lampard has what it takes to get the best out of them, and if he’s given time, he just might.
However, if there’s anything to be learned from Chelsea’s recent managerial history, it’s that Abramovich is not exactly known for his patience. Lampard will have to start turning the situation around soon, and turn Chelsea into the well-oiled superstar machine many expect them to be.