Frank Lampard will have known more than anyone that when a Chelsea manager goes on a bad run that the consequences can be dire.
During his playing career in the west of the capital, Chelsea’s record goalscorer saw his fair share of managers come and go through the doors of Stamford Bridge. Lampard will have been under no illusions when he took the job.
A fourth-place finish under a transfer embargo and having sold Eden Hazard to Real Madrid was a brilliant achievement for Lampard in his first season. It exceeded all expectations and Roman Abramovich will have been thrilled.
But no matter how much of a club legend you are, that doesn’t change the fact that if you are working for the Russian owner then you need to be getting results. You are not judged on the style of play, or the number of youth players that you bring through. If you don’t win games, certainly losing five in eight, then you’ll be under pressure in a big way.
You suspect Lampard might have known what was coming. From the defeat to Arsenal where he lambasted his players in public to the dire loss at Leicester City last time out in the Premier League, the writing was on the wall.
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It was a question of when, not if.
Maybe that’s why Lampard made Mason Mount his captain for the Luton Town victory. As if to prove a point that “look what I have done with this player, this is what happens when you give youth a chance.”
Mount has featured in 80 of the 84 games Lampard had in charge of Chelsea, which was a remarkable workload for a player who was establishing himself at the top level. Lampard has moulded Mount into one of his best players however and has left a legacy at the club as a manager.
Establishing Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James as Premier League calibre players is something the now former manager can be proud of. You suspect Billy…