Blue Mondays: Then, Now, Forever

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

An overview of Frank Lampard’s 18 months in charge of Chelsea.

Frank signs:

On July 4th 2019, club legend Frank Lampard was announced as Chelsea’s new head coach on a three-year contract – making him the first Englishman to permanently manage the club since Glenn Hoddle two decades ago.


Lampard was appointed following a successful first season in charge of Derby County, where he led The Rams to a 6th place finish in the Championship.


The task at hand for Lampard was a difficult one, with high expectations and very little resources. The Blues had agreed to let star man Eden Hazard complete his highly anticipated transfer to Real Madrid, whilst facing a transfer ban for the season ahead. Lampard was then dependent on integrating a host of youth players graduates into the starting team, which including the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham.

(video via Sky Sports Football)


2019-20:

The campaign ahead was never going to be smooth sailing, which started with a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford. The following game saw Chelsea travel to Istanbul as they faced Champions League winners Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final. The game finished 2-2, with Lampard’s side suffering a heart-breaking defeat on penalties.


Lampard’s first win as Blues boss came at Carrow Road, as Chelsea beat Norwich City 3-2 on August 24th2019. Goals from youth academy products Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount came to the delight of many fans, with the win gifting Chelsea momentum for their next few fixtures.


On September 25th 2019, Lampard found his first ever home win at Stamford Bridge, as his side beat Grimsby Town 7-1 in the EFL Cup. For the fixture, Chelsea’s matchday squad featured 10 players who had graduated from their youth academy, with both Billy Gilmour and Reece James making their first-team debuts.


Chelsea took their form into October, where they recorded a perfect record as they beat Brighton, Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley in the Premier League. Lampard was awarded with the October 2019 Manager of the Month award, as Chelsea continued their winning streak until their 2-1 defeat at the Eithad on November 23rd.


After picking up two memorable wins away to both Arsenal and Spurs in December 2019, Chelsea went into the New Year in 4th position, a position they would eventually finish at the end of 2019-20 campaign.


The season itself saw showcased many promising signs for Frank Lampard and Chelsea, who did well to secure a FA Cup final spot, whilst also guaranteeing Champion’s League football for next season.


2020-21:

Although Chelsea’s transfer ban being lifted for the January 2020 transfer window, Lampard didn’t make his first signing until the summer of 2020. Chelsea spent over £220 million in the transfer window, as they brought in 6 key signings, which including Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Édouard Mendy, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.


The 2020-21 season looked promising for Lampard and Chelsea, which begun with a 3-1 win away to Brighton.

(video via Sky Sports Football)


Despite drawing 3-3 with both West Brom and Southampton early on in the season, Chelsea’s start to the campaign was bright – topping both of the Premier League and their Champion’s League group by December 2020.


Overall, Chelsea was in excellent form, and put together a 17-game unbeaten streak where they defended excellently, with new additions Thiago Silva and Mendy playing a big role in the team’s success. However, it seemed apparent that Chelsea was struggling against teams in the top half on the league table, and their unbeaten streak ended at Goodison Park in a 1-0 defeat to Everton on December 12th.


Things took a turn for the worse for Lampard and Chelsea, who had started the season so well. After losing to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester, Chelsea had lost 5 of their last 8 Premier League games – with rumours suggesting that Frank Lampard’s job was suddenly at risk.


Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester on January 19th 2021 looked to be the final straw, as Chelsea suddenly slipped into 9th position in the Premier League.


Even with an important 3-1 victory over Luton Town in the FA Cup on January 24th, it seemed that Lampard’s fate was sealed, as he was sacked by Chelsea on the following morning – with German coach Thomas Tuchel set to takeover on a permanent basis.


Reflection:

Despite his time ending short at Chelsea, Lampard’s return to the club as a coach will never be forgotten. Following a successful first season in charge, Lampard provided opportunities for a variety of youth academy products, who under his management have grown and developed into fantastic first-team players.


Although it wasn’t the fairy-tale ending that Chelsea fans dreamed of, it goes without saying that Frank Lampard’s time as a Chelsea manager has only enriched his legacy and bond with the football club, as he remains an icon that Chelsea fans will never forget.

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