By Frank Kamuntu
Chelsea has announced the sacking of Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel in line to replace him as manager.
The Premier League giant has axed the club legend less than 24 hours after beating Luton Town in the FA Cup fourth round.
Lampard, who is considered one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players after winning 13 trophies in a 13-year stint in west London, took charge in 2019 following a year in the Championship with Derby County.
He steered the west London club to a top-four finish in his maiden season in the top-flight, but the mood has soured at Stamford Bridge this term with the Blues lagging behind their rivals despite a summer spend exceeding the £200million mark.
The 42-year-old has come under increasing pressure over the last few weeks with Chelsea currently sitting ninth in the top-flight, 11 points behind league leaders Manchester United.
A Chelsea statement outlined the reasons for Lampard’s sacking, with him accused of ‘leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement’.
The statement read: “Chelsea Football Club have today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard.
“This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.
“We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
“There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.”
Owner Roman Abramovich also provided a rare statement on Lampard’s exit.
“This was a very difficult decision for the Club,” began Abramovich, “not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him’.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances, we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the Club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
It is understood Tuchel is set to be appointed Lampard’s successor.
Former Borussia Dortmund manager Tuchel is currently out of work having been sacked by Paris Saint-Germain just before Christmas.
Chelsea was being spoken about as title contenders at the start of December after a nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
However, back-to-back defeats away at Everton and Wolves brought the Blues back down to earth, before a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of a struggling Arsenal side on Boxing Day derailed their season and heaped the pressure on Lampard.
A later draw with Aston Villa, plus defeats by Man City and Leicester, found Lampard under even more pressure, and despite beating Luton on Sunday the manager’s position was untenable and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy has called time on his spell in charge.