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With the balance sheet of a train seating plan



With the balance sheet of a train seating plan

At Chelsea they thought it couldn’t get any worse – but then Frank Lampard came along. About the devastating overall situation for the 2021 Champions League winner.

After Graham Potter was fired, Frank Lampard took over as interim coach at Chelsea in early April and has since lost all six competitive games. The latest episode: a feeble 3-1 draw against city rivals Arsenal on Tuesday, after which all the so-called pundits happily pounced on Chelsea.

Apart from that, Lampard’s previous record “LLLLLL” has already caused some quite creative mockery. Among other things, there is the joke that it is based on the seating plan of a train. The English Guardians Lampard named the manager with more Ls than the Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

In fact, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is just short for the full city name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, at 58 letters the longest on the planet. Even Lampard won’t be able to get that many Ls this season. There are five games left. Should all rivals win their games, Chelsea still need four points to stay up. So relegation. It has come to this.

At least that is what the traditional club, which has been first-class since 1989, will somehow manage, and Mauricio Pochettino is likely to take over in the summer. But questions remain, both for the coach and the club: will everything really get better under Pochettino? Will Frank Lampard ever get another Premier League job?

Frank Lampard’s unfortunate coaching career

First to Lampard and his rather devastating track record as a professional coach. After a narrow missed promotion with Derby County, he was entrusted with the head coaching post at his heart club Chelsea in 2019. In his first season, he just about led the team into the Champions League, but failed in the premier class without a chance at eventual winners FC Bayern Munich.

In the winter of his sophomore season, Lampard was sacked in ninth place. There was a lack not only of positive results, but also of a clearly recognizable tactic. Thomas Tuchel took over and won the Champions League title in the same season. Oh yes: his team also qualified fourth for the premier class via the Premier League.

Lampard joined Everton in January 2022 after a year out of work. Under his aegis, the well-known team initially slid deeper and deeper into the relegation battle, but ultimately saved themselves. The overall situation has not improved in the current season: at the end of January, Everton were tied at the bottom of the table with FC Southampton, and the club sank into chaos.

“I know I’m not a magician, I know I’m not the best coach in the world, but I know I’ll work as hard as I can to be as good as I can,” Lampard said at the time – and was released shortly thereafter. Everton are still in a relegation zone, but the point average has improved under successor Sean Dyche.

Chelsea: Historic investments, historic negative run

And so to Lampard’s new, old, very old club: the consortium of owners led by Todd Boehly has invested over 600 million euros in new players since taking over Roman Abramovich, 330 of them in winter alone. In particular, the king transfers Enzo Fernandez (121 million euros from Benfica Lisbon) and Mychajlo Mudryk (70 million euros from Shakhtar Donetsk) have so far fallen far short of expectations.

At the beginning of the season, the new owners surprisingly fired successful coach Tuchel, who now works for FC Bayern Munich. Under his successor Graham Potter, who was hired for a lot of money by league rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, the expensive team lost sight of the Champions League places and did not develop further in terms of play.

Lampard took over a heap of rubble in early April – seamlessly continuing his personal negative run. He has lost all of the last ten competitive games across clubs and competitions. The last time a certain Arthur Cox did that was in 1988 with Derby County. Club icon Lampard was probably only enthroned because the season was already given away anyway – and a long-term successor to Potter is not burned prematurely.

Todd Boehly: Fan Discussion and Dressing Room Visit

After Chelsea lost to Brighton in the Premier League as a result of their 2-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, Boehly engaged in a gestural debate with angry fans in the stands at Stamford Bridge. For weeks they have been singing the praises of Tuchel and Abramovich again and again. After the dispute, Boehly reportedly held a one-hour incendiary speech in the dressing room together with his fellow board members Behdad Eghbali and Hansjörg Wyss.

“The whole action was strange,” he quoted Guardians an unnamed person who was there. In the course of their speech, the owners allegedly singled out a single professional who had been signed for a lot of money this season as a scapegoat. The action did not have any positive effects, Chelsea also lost the second leg against Real 0:2 and were eliminated from the Champions League.

Leading player Thiago Silva then defended the failed coaches – and instead attacked the club management for the disproportionate spending spree. “The first step was taken. A wrong step, but it was taken,” said Silva TNT Sports. “It’s a difficult time for the club with a lot of uncertainty. We even had to enlarge the dressing room because it didn’t suit the size of the squad.” According to Silva, the club “must come up with a strategy, otherwise we will make the same mistakes next season”.

Chelsea FC: what’s next?

The contract of 38-year-old Silva runs until 2024, while many of the expensive newcomers are tied for up to eight years. Loud The Athletic some players are already regretting their long-term signings. Because of missing the Champions League, their salary will be reduced by 30 percent from now on.

Chelsea are reportedly facing serious financial fair play problems as a result of the collapse in revenue. As a consequence, all players would generally be for sale – it could hit the few identification figures who have been in the club for a long time. Mason Mount will not be extending his expiring contract.

Meanwhile, the next expensive transfer is imminent with Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig. In addition, with center forward Romelu Lukaku, another big earner returns from his loan to Inter Milan. In the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played in the center of attack – and was substituted at half-time after nine touches (four from set pieces).

“There are no tactical reasons for losing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the basics right,” Lampard moaned afterwards. “We weren’t good enough, we were too nice and too passive.” Lampard had recently criticized the fitness of his team – and thus made a dig at his predecessor Potter: “I think the team needs some physical work. At this level you have to be at the limit and we’re not there at the moment.” In fact, any limits are currently far, far away at Chelsea.

Premier League: The table

Place team Sp. Gates differential pt.
1. Manchester City 33 87:30 57 79
2. arsenal 34 81:39 42 78
3. Newcastle United 33 61:27 34 65
4. Manchester United 32 49:39 10 63
5. Liverpool 34 66:42 24 59
6. Tottenham Hotspur 34 63:57 6 54
7. AstonVilla 34 46:42 4 54
8th. Brighton & Hove Albion 31 61:40 21 52
9. Brentford 34 52:44 8th 50
10 Fulham 34 45:46 -1 45
11. Crystal Palace 34 35:45 -10 40
12. Chelsea 33 31:38 -7 39
13. AFC Bournemouth 34 36:64 -28 39
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 29:50 -21 37
15 West Ham United 34 37:50 -13 34
16 Leicester City 34 46:59 -13 30
17 LeedsUnited 34 43:67 -24 30
18 Nottingham Forest 34 30:62 -32 30
19 everton 34 27:52 -25 29
20 southampton 34 28:60 -32 24