Chelsea collapse lets Lampard test Abramovich’s patience

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#London (AFP)

#Frank #Lampard knows the demands of being a #Chelsea coach under #Roman #Abramovich more than most people who have played for nine different coaches during his playing career at #Stamford #Bridge.

#Now #Lampard is the man on the shooting line following #Sunday’s 3-1 loss to #Manchester #City, which capped a six-game win that appears to have extinguished any hope of a challenge for the #Premier #League title.

#Much more was expected of the #Blues after a £ 220million ($ 300million) spending spree in the transfer market at a time when most of the major #European football powers were shrinking due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.

#After financing the purchases of #Kai #Havertz, #Timo #Werner, #Hakim #Ziyech, #Ben #Chilwell and #Edouard #Mendy, #Abramovich would have expected more than eighth place for #Chelsea in the table almost halfway through the season.

#Patience has not been a virtue in the #Russian’s 18-year reign as #Chelsea owner and even a club legend like #Lampard, who is the club’s all-time top scorer, likely won’t have much more time to reverse the situation.

#Athletic reported on #Sunday that #Chelsea are already fielding suitable candidates if the 42-year-old is sacked.

– #Great expectations –

#Lampard has had some credit in the bank since his first season at the helm, which brought the club back to the #Champions #League despite a transfer ban and the sale of #Eden #Hazard to #Real #Madrid.

#But expectations have changed since the summer spending frenzy, although #Lampard has always warned that #Chelsea will need more time to meet the standards set by #Liverpool and #City in recent seasons.

“The expectations are different this year because everyone is looking and saying ‘you spent so much money’,” #Lampard said after a fourth loss in six games.

“The reality is that a lot of the players who have come are new, young, have been injured or have not played together. There are a lot of expectations that are not real. ”

#But the manner of defeating a team in the city impoverished by coronavirus infections and struggling to score goals this season has offered few signs of what #Lampard is trying to build towards.

#Chelsea’s failure to embark on a title challenge is all the more disappointing as #Liverpool and #City’s standards have fallen in an unusual season, opening the door for the pursuit squad.

#As #Manchester #United and #Tottenham stepped forward to close the gap, #Chelsea are behind #Leicester, #Aston #Villa and #Everton, leaving #Lampard with the lowest points-per-game tally of any coach in the #Abramovich era.

The former #England international’s relationship with his players has also been called into question since his public rebuke of their attitude and commitment in a 3-1 loss to #Arsenal last weekend failed to spark the answer he hoped for.

#Instead, there were more examples of lethargy under #Ziyech’s gaze, as #Kevin #De #Bruyne passed him to score #City’s third goal in 35 minutes.

#Lampard’s inability to get the most out of some of his big buys has reportedly raised concerns within the #Chelsea hierarchy.

#For the fourth game in a row, club record signing #Havertz only emerged as a second-half substitute despite his side’s struggles, while #Werner, prolific in his time with RB #Leipzig in the #Bundesliga, did not. now failed to score in 13 games.

#Lampard has been given the tools to build a team capable of much more than what it showed last month.

#Now is the time to start delivering if he is to avoid the same fate as so many #Chelsea managers who came before him.

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