Chelsea fires coach Frank Lampard halfway through 2nd season

Sports

FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020 file photo, Chelsea’s head coach Frank Lampard walks during the warm up before the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. Lampard has been fired by Chelsea halfway through his second season in charge of the London club on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 after being unable to replicate his success as the club’s record scorer in his first Premier League managerial job. Chelsea has lost five of its last eight Premier League games and dropped to ninth place, despite Lampard benefiting from nearly $300 million on new players for this season. (AP Photo/Jon Super, Pool, File)

LONDON (NewsNation Now) — Frank Lampard was fired by Chelsea on Monday halfway through his second season in charge after being unable to replicate his success as the club’s record scorer in his first Premier League managerial job.

Chelsea has lost five of its last eight Premier League games and dropped to ninth place, despite Lampard benefiting from nearly $300 million spent on new players for this season.

Chelsea said the performances had “not met expectations” and left the team “without any clear path to sustained improvement” — making a change of managers necessary with former Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel set to be hired.

Reflecting Lampard’s statement at the west London club, the firing was announced in a rare statement by owner Roman Abramovich.

“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,” owner Roman Abramovich said. “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.”

Lampard finishes his time at Stamford Bridge with a 44-17-23 record in 84 games (all comps) and one Premier League Manager of the Month award (October 2019). He leaves with the lowest points-per-game record of the dozen managers since Abramovich bought the club in 2003, and having lost the the 2020 FA Cup final to Arsenal.

Lampard is a Chelsea great after scoring 211 goals from central midfield from 2001-14, during which he won every major honor at the club including three Premier League titles and the Champions League. He was associated with some of the best moments in the club’s history and admired for his work ethic and making the most of his talent.

Next in the dugout at Stamford Bridge is set to be Tuchel, Sky’s German sports channel first reported.

Tuchel, like Lampard, had success in the Champions League this season but struggled domestically in France’s Ligue 1. He was sacked by PSG on Christmas Eve after criticizing the club’s transfer activity despite winning Ligue 1 in consecutive seasons and advancing to the Champions League final in 2020.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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