Frank Lampard’s sacking by Chelsea was ‘inevitable’, talkSPORT has been told.
Lampard’s 18-month tenure at Stamford Bridge came to an end on Monday, following a run of just two wins from eight Premier League games.
Adrian Durham says Roman Abramovich’s ruthless nature and relentless desire to win silverware has ultimately resulted in Lampard being axed from his dream job.
The Blues have had 12 managers in the 18 years since the Russian bought the club in 2003 – but more telling is the fact they’ve won more major trophies than any other Premier League club.
Success is something that Abramovich demands, and in some cases even that hasn’t been enough to save some managers – with Guus Hiddink and Maurizio Sarri prime examples.
Durham had sympathy for Lampard, but says it was no real surprise to him that he was given his marching orders.
Speaking on Monday’s Drivetime, he said: “By now you should have a good idea what your best starting XI is. People have also got to realise that this was inevitable.
“As soon as there was a bad run and Lampard showed no sign of trying something different to turn it around.
“It’s Chelsea – sacking managers is what they do. Roman Abramovich sacked Carlo Ancelotti in a corridor at Everton.
“He sacked [Roberto] Di Matteo months after they won the Champions League, he sacked [Antonio] Conte after winning trophies in both seasons. His last game was winning the FA Cup!
“He sacked [Maurizio] Sarri after the 4-1 win at Arsenal [in the Europa League final].”
He continued: “Lampard did some brilliant things with some of the kids at Chelsea: Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham.
“These are players who have all gone on to make their England debuts. Lampard has nurtured and developed them, not just for first team players for Chelsea but international players.
“So that’s a big tick in the box.
“Chelsea are still in the Champions League. [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer’s record at Manchester United would have got him the sack at Chelsea, same for [Mikel] Arteta at Chelsea.
“They are run in a different way at Chelsea, they’re more demanding and they’re more brutal.
“The truth is we will never know whether Frank Lampard would have been successful or not at Chelsea in the long term. And that’s because they don’t do long term at Chelsea.
“There are positive and there are negatives, but not enough to make a proper judgement on whether he was a success or a failure.
“All we know is that Abramovich thought he wouldn’t be a success and he runs the place so it’s up to him.
“Two things did it for me: Blaming the players so openly after the Arsenal defeat and fighting with people, he had a tussle with [Jurgen] Klopp on the touchline and there was a two-and-fro with [Jose] Mourinho.
“There was a bite at a journalist last week in a press conference. He was just a little bit too aggressive, Frank, and needed just to calm down a little bit.”
Durham’s co-host Darren Gough took exception and said: “He was learning on the job. It’s a highly stressful job knowing that managers do get sacked.
“It’s totally different to Derby. You can’t compare Derby to Chelsea. It’s a totally different ask.
“He went into Derby where you give lots of young players game time and his job was to get them into the play-offs.
“In the play-offs it didn’t work out. He then got the job at Chelsea and his first year at Chelsea he did at brilliant job and got them into the Champions League.”
“I’m talking about fighting,” Durham hit back as Gough added: “But that’s his personality… Klopp fights with people.”
“But he’s won a Champions League and the league at Dortmund,” Durham insisted.
Gough concluded: “So you can only fight with someone when you’ve won something? I’m not having that.”
It was another entertaining debate on Drive – that much is for sure!
CHELSEA MANAGER’S POINTS-PER-GAME RECORD SINCE ROMAN ABRAMOVICH BOUGHT THE CLUB IN 2003
Avram Grant – 2.31
Jose Mourinho – 2.19
Antonio Conte – 2.14
Carlo Ancelotti – 2.07
Rafa Benitez – 1.96
Luiz Felipe Scolari – 1.96
Guus Hiddink – 1.94
Maurizio Sarri – 1.89
Roberto Di Matteo – 1.83
Claudio Ranieri – 1.82
Andre Villas-Boas – 1.70
Frank Lampard – 1.67