Premier League winner; Champions League winner; top goalscorer in the club’s history. Frank Lampard completed it all on the pitch at Chelsea, and, when offered the chance to take up the manager’s role in 2019, could not resist. Yet, a season and a half later, and the Chelsea great is out of a job; Chelsea sit mid-table, and Lampard sits exposed as nothing more than an inexperienced rookie with a great legacy as a player not ready for the big stage.
As a player, there may never be better to have worn the Chelsea shirt; in the technical area, unfortunately, there has not been worse. The Blues legend leaves having recorded the worst points per game ratio of any manager under Roman Abramovic.
Lampard arrived in the dreamland of turning his legacy on the pitch into success off of it. He leaves with his reputation bruised and managerial nouse doubted.
Other clubs may have tolerated the failure; seen the bigger picture of the future, but Chelsea are known for their managerial ruthlessness and were right to stick with it despite Lampard’s legacy.
Chelsea Right to Sack Lampard Despite Legacy
Further Evidence That World Class Players Do Not Equal World Class Managers
When Real Madrid appointed club legend Zinedine Zidane in 2016, they unintentionally started a trend of former players playing the role of manager.
In the La Liga sides’ case, it worked to perfection; Zidane won a treble of Champions League trophies alongside the La Liga and saw his side reach dominance.
The Frenchman’s legacy on the pitch remained, and his reputation as a manager grew. As proven by Lampard, however, a world-class player with a great legacy does not automatically become a world-class manager.
The Englishman reached the greatest of heights during his playing career, but, the biggest stage he had reached during his managerial career before Chelsea was a play-off final defeat at Wembley with Derby County.
Lampard had shown no signs that he was ready for the job. When you strip the legacy away, you’ll find a manager who was out of his depth; a manager whose biggest achievement was doing as expected in the Championship.
Too Soon for Lampard
Lampard was not ready for the job. His appointment alone went against the usual Chelsea norm of appointing world-class, established managers. Yet, Lampard arrived; Lampard splashed the cash, and, ultimately, Lampard failed.
The dismissal would have hurt Abramovic, no matter the owner’s usual ruthlessness. But, to keep the Chelsea winning machine going, or to get it kick-started once more in this case, the trend of a managerial refresh could not come to a crashing halt as Chelsea’s pursuit of trophies did under Lampard.
Maurizio Sarri faced the sack after winning the Europa League, Jose Mourinho- the most successful manager in the club’s history was sacked one season on from winning the Premier League. Now, Lampard has faced the same fate having achieved far less.
From the perspective of those at Stamford Bridge, they’ll be incredibly disappointed not to have seen things work out. Abramovic handed Lampard the funds; the opportunity to succeed; the chance to begin his managerial legacy. Ultimately, Lampard failed to deliver, and the owner was forced to deliver his most ruthless sacking yet, and there have been many.
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