When the news broke on Monday morning that Frank Lampard had been sacked as Chelsea manager, there were real feelings of loss for many supporters.
Strangely it seemed like a shock, no doubt due to the state of denial among many and certainly myself. And then unsurprisingly the anger.
Was Lampard’s dismissal premature? Yes. Was it deserved with Chelsea only four points adrift of the top four with 19 games to go and still in the FA Cup and Champions’ League? Absolutely not.
Should Lampard have been given time to turn Chelsea’s poor form around. Of course, he should. And this is not just a myopic Chelsea supporter saying this. Most football people whether they be former players, pundits and journalists held the same view.
And this was not just down to the plethora of mitigating circumstances this season such as the expensive new arrivals needing time to gel with the team, the lack of training time between an intense schedule of matches, all of the issues around COVID-19 and its restrictions with matches played out in soulless empty stadia.
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No doubt there had been a worrying slump in form, but as ever memories in football are very short. Chelsea was top of the table a mere six weeks ago after beating Leeds United 3-1.
To be honest most supporters I know we’re not unduly worried by the dip in form. But then none of us were delighted by it either.
However, we had bought into the, at long last, supposed long term plan and had accepted that there would be downs as well as ups with Frank Lampard learning on the job. Any pain from teething trouble would be worth it to see success hard earned by a legend at the club, one who we hero worshipped and identified with, especially if it meant the integration of many of the talented youth players at the club.
As with politics, a few weeks is a long time in football.
What has been more…