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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Chelsea sack Frank Lampard as head coach, set to hire Thomas Tuchel next

Frank Lampard was appointed as the head coach of Chelsea in July 2019 and led the club to a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League last season.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: January 25, 2021 8:02:49 pm
Frank Lampard's Chelsea finished fourth last season. (File)

Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard as the club’s head coach on Monday with local media reporting that former Borussia Dortmund and PSG boss Thomas Tuchel will be the one replacing him next in London.

Chelsea beat Luton Town 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday but the poor run of form in the Premier League has resulted in the decision. Chelsea are currently ninth in the standings, accumulating 29 points from 19 matches.

Lampard was appointed as the club’s boss in July 2019 and led the club to a fourth-placed finish last season. The former Chelsea midfielder spent more than £200 million prior to the start of the 2020/21 season on players like Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, and Edouard Mendy.

After a 17-match unbeaten run earlier this season, Chelsea’s form suffered a drop. After losses to Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton, Wolves, and Leicester City since the start of December, owner Roman Abramovich has now decided to act.

“This was a very difficult decision for the club, 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,” said Abramovich.

“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.”

Lampard, who is a Chelsea great after scoring 211 goals from central midfield from 2001-14, earned 1.67 points per match in the league, which is the lowest of any manager appointed since Abramovich bought Chelsea.

Next in the dugout at Stamford Bridge is set to be Tuchel, Sky’s German sports channel first reported. He was sacked by PSG on December 24 last year after two-and-a-half seasons in charge, winning the Ligue 1 twice and taking the team to their first-ever UEFA Champions League final last season.

Tuchel is only five years older than Lampard but vastly more experienced in coaching having being forced to retire from playing at 24 due to injury.

Tuchel made a name for himself in Germany by showing faith in young players during a five-year stint with unheralded Mainz. In 2009, he was promoted to take charge of the Mainz first team after just one year in charge of the youth side, and quickly promoted young talent.

He lasted only two years at Borussia Dortmund before being fired despite winning the German Cup after falling out with officials — just as he would do at PSG.

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