I hate Chelsea. I despise what they do and how they do it from their preposterous loaning system and their prostitution of youngsters to the way they treat their managers with little in fact no respect and year on year get away with it by winning trophy after trophy. 16 in 16 years under Abramovich for that matter.
This may all sound like jealousy but really, as a traditionalist it’s not. I just hate the way the club goes about its business as it simply isn’t how I’ve been brought up on the game, and what I hate about it the most is that it actually works.
You could forgive me for being a Chelsea FC hater, but that’s not true. I like the football they play (even under Sarri), I like a lot of the players that play for the club, I like the tight packed stadium at Stamford Bridge especially under the lights, I even like some of the fans who I have confronted time and again in the past on what their thoughts are on the way their club is being run.
Truth is, they not only accept it, nowadays they are completely on board with their Russian Owner and if they don’t feel something is right they are first to call for the Managers head which usually provokes a reaction.
After fondly watching his days as Napoli head Coach I knew that at Chelsea Maurizio Sarri was never going to work. Chelsea fans were never going to warm to him, and whatever he did it wouldn’t have been good enough. Sarri did the right thing, got out when he could and took the Juventus job because if he didn’t he would have eventually been given the sack regardless. He just beat them to it.
And not an air of gratitude has come out of Chelsea since his departure. A short Instagram post by the club to say he’s leaving, no thanks… I’ve not found a fan who’s upset that he’s gone? Not a pundit that believes he should stay. This despite winning the Europa League, qualifying for the Champions League and finishing third in the Premier League behind arguably the two best teams in Europe right now.
But Sarri is now old news. Chelsea didn’t like his football. Chelsea didn’t like his tactics. Chelsea didn’t like his mannerisms. Chelsea didn’t like the way he spoke. Chelsea just didn’t like Sarri. And I don’t think Sarri liked Chelsea either.
So by replacing him with someone they do like and one that has upmost mutual love for the club is seemingly the only answer to appease their demanding supporters. And with that comes Frank Lampard, club legend and record goalscorer. Mr Chelsea himself. He can’t fail surely? Can he?
Some have said this job might have come a little early in the career of Lampard who did ok in his first year Managing Derby County to a sixth place finish in the Championship before their playoff final defeat against Aston Villa. He certainly didn’t over-achieve but there’s enough to suggest he has a career in management long term, but can he do it at a club who have just sold their best player and have a two window transfer ban themselves? Does Lampard have the tools to take Chelsea to the next level? Whatever that is?
A simple question was asked to a Chelsea fan only yesterday… “Would you accept Lampard finishing sixth next season”… Many blues fans feel they are “better than that”… Many have said they are a “winning club” and that they are used to winning and “shouldn’t accept anything less”, but in reality, to match anything near the achievements next season with last with a largely unproven coach and a worse team would be considered as a ludicrous thought process. Chelsea should be worse off than last season under Lampard and without Eden Hazard. But I question if their fans are prepared for this?
All the above said, Frank Lampard taking the Chelsea job is a must in my opinion. If he doesn’t take it now he might never be offered it again, if he stays at Derby and without their star loanees of last season he could easily struggle. After all the Championship is very demanding and a bad start could lead to them pressing the panic button. Staying and potentially being sacked come October/November is not an option when Chelsea, your club are knocking at your door.
Whether it’s too early or not, it may just be the right time for Lampard to take control, but the fans who will no doubt unanimously back the decision will need to give him time. The owner in particular must give him the time. But it may take time for Lampard to really get his feet under the table.
With zero transfers to play with he must now promote the kids which have dominated their age category in Europe over recent years. Again something that could give more time to Lampard but one that might have a negative effect on the style of play and the results Chelsea get.
Having watched Derby especially away from home under Frank I see a solid set up with no frills. Maybe Lampard at Chelsea has the tools to expand on that with the likes of Pedro, Willian, Hudson-Odoi etc but let’s be clear, the solid but sometimes bland performances under Mourinho, Conte, Sarri in recent years won’t get better overnight.
I don’t see Frank Lampard as a huge gamble for Chelsea, but I question whether Chelsea will have the patience to fully believe in what Frank Lampard will in time bring. Having seen first-hand the likes of Stuart Pearce, a club legend manage Forest before getting the sack, having seen Alan Shearer fail at Newcastle, Slaven Bilic string out mediocrity at West Ham, having seen Ole Solskjaer after an initial boom struggle at Manchester United and many more come and go under similar circumstances I understand the fans will always support their own, but I question when it comes to it and Chelsea Football Club are not even playing a quality of football as good as Sarriball whilst sitting outside the Champions League spots next season will that be the time where the club takes a long hard look at itself and says “What have we done”?