Gulf Today Report: Monday, January 25, 2021 – Frank Lampard gestures during match against Manchester City at Premier League in Stamford Bridge, London. File/Reuters
Chelsea announced on Monday they had sacked manager Frank Lampard after a poor run in the Premier League.
“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” said owner Roman Abramovich.
The 42-year-old is expected to leave Stamford Bridge with the club struggling in ninth place in the Premier League table, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea have lost five of their past eight Premier League matches after a good start to the season.
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel in line to take over, reports said.
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel gestures during a match – File/Reuters
A hat-trick from Tammy Abraham helped the Blues progress into the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Luton.
But that result looks unlikely to save Lampard’s job, with owner Roman Abramovich apparently ready to make a change.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer signed a three-year deal in 2019 and despite a transfer ban, led them to the FA Cup final and a fourth-place finish in his first managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Despite spending £220 million ($300 million) on new players including Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner it has failed to translate into improved results.
His points-per-game average of 1.67 is the fourth-lowest of any permanent Chelsea manager in the Premier League.
As a player Lampard got used to the fickleness of Abramovich towards his managers with nine appointed during his time there.
Tuchel only became available a month ago when he left PSG, less than five months after taking them to the Champions League final, which they lost to Bayern Munich.
The 47-year-old German won back-to-back league titles with PSG, but that was not enough to satisfy the club’s ambitious owners, who replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino.
Prior to PSG, Tuchel impressed at Borussia Dortmund, having started his managerial career with Augsburg and then Mainz.
Top Feature Photo: Frank Lampard gestures during match against Manchester City at Premier League in Stamford Bridge, London – File/Reuters