Chelsea sack Lampard, Tuchel to take charge

LONDON: Chelsea sacked manager Frank Lampard on Monday after 18 months in charge, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel hotly tipped to replace him at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard signed a three-year deal in July 2019, leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final and a fourth-placed Premier League finish in his first season in charge.

Lampard’s legendary status at Stamford Bridge was not enough to save him after a run of form which has seen Chelsea slide to ninth in the Premier League, five points below Liverpool in fourth place despite spending £220m on seven players last summer. The west Londoners have lost five of their last eight league games and trust that Tuchel, who is available after being fired by Paris Saint-Germain last month, is capable of reviving their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. The 47-year-old German could be installed in time for Chelsea’s home fixture against Wolves on Wednesday, although Covid-19 protocols could stop him from attending the game.

Chelsea said that the decision to sack Lampard, who was 18 months in a three-year deal, was not taken lightly. Yet the writing was on the wall after the shambolic 2-0 defeat to Leicester last Tuesday. Lampard feared that game would mark the end of his tenure. It is understood that he even said goodbye to some players in the dressing room after full-time.

Although he did well in his first campaign there has been no visible progress this season. Chelsea’s fans remained behind Lampard but he had the worst points-per-game average of any manager in the Abramovich era. It is down to Tuchel to pick up the pieces. He comes with risks given that he has a reputation for falling out with his bosses, but his coaching pedigree is not in doubt.

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