When Maurizio Sarri left Chelsea at the end of the 2018/19 season almost every Chelsea fan knew what was next for the club. The return of the prodigal son at Stamford Bridge over from Derby County. Probably the most decorated player of Chelsea’s history was set to now manage the club.
The feeling of excitement and childlike nostalgia hit every Chelsea fan equally. And now that Lampard is gone we take a look back at the cherished moments he spent with his club as a manager.
A season and a half of roller coaster like emotions, exhilarations and in the end disappointment
The start of the Lampard period was always going to be tough and people knew it. A depleted squad with their best player in Eden Hazard going out meant most the pressure fell in the youngsters.
Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori– all of these players have been nurtured and nourished by Frank. And now they were going to be mainstays in his bid to rebuild the team in a different way.
Having achieved minimal success at Derby County, Lampard wasn’t given much of a chance by the pundits who all predicted that Chelsea would finish outside of the top four. Nobody gave the young team a chance to shine and belived they would crumble under the pressure.
Moreover the existent squad was filled with players who didn’t deserve the wear the Chelsea shirt such as Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga. All of this deadwood and absolutely worthless figures who parade around as footballers still existed so you can imagine how difficult it was for Frank.
You’ve got a goalkeeper who will concede a goal with every shot he faces and you know the road is long. You’ve got a defence with a snail at left back who can’t play a pass for the love of God and you know it’s a tough season.
But still Chelsea didn’t surrender. They fought against all odds and managed to reach top four and secure UEFA Champions League football for the next season. The Mason Mount free-kick against Wolves which ensured that top four is reached is symbolic to the fact that Lampard trusted the youngsters who repayed his trust. Not only were they the better players but also better human beings.
Chelsea faced challenges no doubt but they weren’t bogged down. Matches like the 4-4 draw against AFC Ajax wherein Reece James took the roof off Stamford Bridge show how much spirit the young team had and how much pride they felt to play for their boyhood club. The game against Arsenal where they came back from 1-0 down to win it with a Tammy Abraham winner in the dying minutes shows that they fought till the end.
No one gave them a chance. No one believed that without Eden Hazard they could win matches. A young striker who scored 19 goals, a attacking midfielder who tool things into his hand and a team which knew that they have a manager behind them who’s the greatest to ever grace the Premier League.
A bitter end to a what could’ve been storyline
A summer transfer window which is easily the best the club has ever seen. World class players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech all making their way over to Stamford Bridge and people instantly knew that Chelsea weren’t messing about any more. Roman Abramovich meant business.
An expenditure of magnanimous amounts and a team which boasted of some of the best players from all across the World meant that the London club was planning something big.
But then again no-one knew that they would falter so bad. For all the expectations fans had from the new players very little has been repaid. They’ve found it difficult to cope up with the premier league and faltered at the start.
And with the record Chelsea have with struggling manager’s everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before Roman Abramovich pulled the trigger. Pep Guardiola has put it very well indeed. Its a result based game. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced manager or a young one – of you can’t provide results out you go.
We will think about what could’ve been if Frank had got what he dreamt about from this team for sure. What he envisioned may come true one day when we will see his gifted players grow up to be responsible and more importantly respectful towards the club.
Chelsea fans are gutted no doubt but this is the bitter truth of the sport. No one waits, no one is given a second chance. It’s the same for all and Frank Lampard has had to face the music. The club will move on but Frank’s position and image as a club legend will never falter or diminish. He remains the greatest.