Premier League English

Roman Abramovich’s five-man managerial shortlist if axe is wielded on Frank Lampard

Chelsea’s Premier League form has plummeted off its once-high cliff in recent weeks raising a plethora of questions about the future of manager Frank Lampard and who could potentially replace him at Stamford Bridge.

A trial by fire is ongoing now for Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard after seeing his side climb to the top of the Premier League table in early-December, following a 3-1 victory over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge. Since then, Lampard overseen only one win in the Blues’ last six Premier League outings, raising strong questions about both his immediate and long-term future.

Over their last six league matches, the Blues have lost four times, including 3-1 defeats to both Arsenal and Manchester City.

With the Blues having spent more than £220million on seven new additions during the summer in a serious bid to turn themselves back into genuine title challengers, their current dismal form is indeed cause for concern for the club’s supporters, owner Roman Abramovich and, of course, Lampard himself.

Alluding to the truth in Sam Allardyce’s recent remark that there isn’t any loyalty in football, there have understandably been calls from some corners for Lampard to be relieved of his duties after the Blues’ form took a real nose-dive in recent weeks despite the Chelsea boss still being relatively young in terms of his coaching career. But football and its followers, especially Chelsea owner Abramovich, are not known to have a high level of patience or a tolerance for failure.

One of the main reasons for the calls for Lampard to be sacked is because of the huge amount of money that Abramovich had made available to him to spend during the summer transfer window in a bid to edge them closer to Liverpool and Manchester City to be serious title contenders. However, at the time of writing, the Blues are sitting ninth in the table and ten points behind current table-toppers Manchester United.

Interestingly, Abramovich, who has invested huge amounts of money in the club in recent years, has been silent on Lampard’s future during their recent run of poor form although the Blues owner, according to Bild’s Christian Falk, has already drawn up a five-man shortlist of potential candidates to replace Lampard if the Blues’ current downward slide continues. 

Former Paris Saint-Germain chief Thomas Tuchel is allegedly on the list, alongside currently out-of-work Massimiliano Allegri, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl and RB Leipzig chief Julian Nagelsmann.

All these five names have enjoyed considerable success in their careers so far, be it from winning league titles or achieving lesser goals. Among them, both Tuchel and Allergri are currently available, but Rodgers, Hasenhuttul and Nagelsmann are all doing impressive work at their current clubs.

However, the five-man shortlist notwithstanding, it should be stressed that Abramovich has no plans to axe Lampard at this moment in time, but those familiar with the Blues’ owner’s style of ownership are clear that he is already preparing Chelsea’s next move should he need to make a change in the dugout.

Lampard no doubt has the necessary team and tools to overturn Chelsea’s fortunes and will be nursing deep hope that an FA Cup triumph Sunday over Morecambe can be the much-needed catalyst for a change in form, with fixtures against Fulham, Burnley and Sheffield United in their next six games hopefully also turning favorable.