Was communication a key issue in Frank Lampard’s departure from Chelsea? Or would any manager have struggled to deal with the challenges in front of him this season?
Chelsea made the decision to sack club legend Lampard on Monday with the club ninth in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.
The club spent over £220m in the summer transfer window to bring in the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner but there has been a downturn in results and performances lately.
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In the latest Eurosport vodcast in partnership with The Beautiful Game Podcast, Deji Odedina, Justin Cole and Ben Snowball analysed the decision to sack Lampard, with Odedina believing his communication with the players “fell short” of expectations.
“When you read deep into the story I think it’s the fractures behind the scenes that have led to his departure. We all know [Chelsea director] Marina Granovskaia is a powerful figure at Chelsea and it was reported that his relationship with her was strained.
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“Another thing that caught my eye was his public lambasting of the players especially after the games against Arsenal and Leicester. One thing that strikes me with Frank Lampard is I don’t think he is a great communicator.
“I remember speaking to a player who played under him at Derby County and he said he’s a good manager but [assistant manager] Jody Morris did all of the communicating. I believe when you go into an elite environment the top players expect a certain level of communication, tactical advice and training, and I believe Frank Lampard fell short of that.
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“You can say it’s to be expected because he’s still green as a manager and learning, but ultimately I felt that was his undoing.”
Lampard’s replacement looks set to be former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel.
While Tuchel comes with more experience than Lampard, Cole thinks any manager might have struggled at Chelsea this season with so many players joining for big transfer fees and the difficulties posed by a condensed season due to the Covid-19 pandemic
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“Of course you would have liked to think someone of the stature of Frank Lampard would have built up enough credit as a legend of the club to be afforded more time, but ultimately although [club owner] Roman Abramovich and the board are fans of the club, they are investors and are pumping money into the club. After spending nearly £250m in the summer to recruit the best talent on the market they want to see a return on their investment almost straight away.
“There were a number of different challenges set in front of Frank Lampard and to be frank, I can’t imagine many managers would have managed bringing in so many players of such high calibre and reputation and getting them all playing straight away.
“We have seen other clubs in previous windows spend a lot of money acquiring a high number of players and it just doesn’t work out. You have to try and fit all these players with big reputations into one team.
“He has found it difficult to pick his best starting XI and that would be a challenge for loads of managers, let alone one with very little experience. He was very green when he decided to join Chelsea, but it would have been hard for him to say no. Where does it leave him going forward? We will have to wait and see.”
Tuchel looks set to take charge for Chelsea’s next game against Wolves on Wednesday.
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