It’s time for Frank Lampard to go. Mail us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to go, Frank…
Hard to disagree with Sarah Winterburn. Lampard’s been given time, backing, and plenty of patience; but it’s just not working, there’s no real sign of improvement, and the team is clearly massively under-performing their potential. Any team – not only Chelsea – would be thinking of changing manager at this point. And as noted, Chelsea have had plenty of success with frequent chopping and changing. I think a change now is the right move – based on historical precedent this is quite likely to lead to a vast immediate improvement, with about a 50% chance of making the Champions League final.
As for Lampard – as a Chelsea supporter, I don’t think this tarnishes his reputation at all. He’s still a club legend. He’s achieved some important things as manager – crucially he’s brought through a generation of young talent (which no other Chelsea manager had managed since at least Ranieri), presided over some impressive recruitment last summer, did well last season in difficult circumstances, and has resisted the trap of become truly odious during his period of under-achievement. Ultimately, that’s not enough now, and I do think it’s time for a new manager (as, let’s be honest, was always likely) – I’d say he will leave as neither an unqualified success nor an unqualified failure.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, Singapore
…Frank Lampard needed a big performance against Leicester, the fans wanted a response from the side that limped past 10-man Fulham last weekend and what we got was neither, We got a team performance that can be best described with the shrug emoji, others would say the words downed tools.
It’s unfortunate but a change will probably be made, I think not just Chelsea fans but all football fans expect to see the infamous corner flag photo on twitter soon, as a team we’ve just regressed massively this season after adding so much talent to the squad in the summer, talent that cost a lot of money and yet we are arguably worse than last season.
Frank Lampard could become a great manager one day, but sadly it seems right now the job is just not going to work out for him, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see him turn up at Celtic ahead of next season to take on Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
Lampard got his timing wrong
When you think of Frank Lampard’s playing career his brilliantly timed runs into the box come into mind. He knew where to be and he knew exactly when to get there. Few footballers have ever had timing as good as Lampard’s.
His decision to accept the manager’s position at Chelsea was not so well-timed.
First, you can argue that leaving Derby County after only one fairly successful year of managing was not enough. He needed more games under his belt. Maybe more importantly, he joined Chelsea at the wrong time. With an owner like Abramovich the Manager’s job was always going to be there for him at some point. He could have waited until Chelsea were at a lower ebb and better positioned to climb.
When he signed as manager, Chelsea were less than two months removed from a UEFA Cup win, 14 months from winning the FA Cup and two seasons from winning the league. This was not a club looking to rebuild. They were looking to reload. The problem is that their best player, Eden Hazard, was leaving and some of the other key players were past their best. He was tasked with winning with a talented but inexperienced young team.
The other issue was that Champions League finalist Liverpool were all set to break through and win the league and other big clubs were well-positioned for a turnaround. He was never going to match up to these clubs with a team of kids.
If Lampard had remained at Derby County it’s likely that Chelsea would be in the same place where they are right now. The supporters would be desperate to have him arrive late and score the big goal (turn things around). He would be arriving at the ideal time to return the club back to glory.
Unlike his career, Lampard made his run to the Chelsea job too early.
Steve D, Toronto
Wait and get Rodgers?
This is an insane season and sacking Frank at any point this season will be seen as knee jerk. He was being heralded as the best young manager a little while ago and there was nobody worse than Arteta in the world but now only two points separate them.
Throwing a replacement in this haphazard season is setting him up for disaster too. Roman would do well to see out the season and then replace Frank with Brendan Rodgers, he does not have the glitz and glamour that Roman likes but he has truly deserved another shot at the very top.
Shehzad Ghias, MUFC, Karachi
How about Leicester though?
Wonderful viewing last night. Despite our title win it still makes me rub my eyes to see such a performance and such wonderful players plying their trade with us, as well as our position at the summit of the table this far into the season. It truly is special times. I’ve never done any conclusions before but here you go:
1. Youri Tielemans and Wilifred N’didi is the bestest midfield partnership in the country. An utter joy to behold. Simple anticipation, passing to a team mate in space and then BOOM passing between the lines and off we go, here’s another chance for us to score. All created by two of the best in the business.
2. Wesley Fofana is going to be big. Proper big. I don’t want to be all small club mentality but we will get two seasons out of him then he will be gone for more than a Harry Maguire. Unexpected slaloms through the heart of an opposition midfield to carry the ball singlehandedly to the far side of the pitch just make you warm inside.
3. James Justin > Ben Chilwell. Yet another bit of good business by the club. Vastly overrated by others and sold for a pretty penny, we already had someone vastly superior waiting in the wings who has taken to the role like a duck to water (see also Soyuncu, C and Maguire, H). He really should be in the next England squad.
4. Speaking of which, does Harvey Barnes make it on current form? I am not so sure. What a talent he is and the improvement is insane, but it will take that bit more from him before he can force himself past the legion of wingers we possess at the moment. But I wouldn’t swap him for any of them for Leicester. He scares the living daylights out of opposition defenders.
5. Our early season injury crisis and lack of CL qualification has proved to be a bonus in the end. It enabled us to demonstrate we had a squad (rather than a first XI) and the proving ground of the Europa League group stages was a gentler introduction than the harsh glare of a CL group would have brought our injury ravaged lads. We have come through it and now have a squad to take on anything.
6. Jamie Vardy has lost a bit of sparkle recently. Stat bod types will say it is simply a return to the norm based on his output across the season, but it looks a bit more than that. He is not necessarily essential for his direct contribution so much these days but it is his mere threat that helps us as teams drop that bit deeper than they would otherwise play that makes the difference. If he is off the pitch then that threat disappears. That is why he continues to be picked, rather than rested, despite his slight regression in effectiveness.
7. Great to see Ricardo back on the pitch. What a player. With him, Castagne, Justin and Albrighton we have such effective and attractive wingback/fullback play at the moment to cater for every situation.
8. Are we a top six side now? Seriously….it has to be considered. Or have we added an extra number to the list so there is now a ‘top 7’.
9. Despite all this wonderfulness, I don’t think we have a hope in hell of winning the title. In 2015/16 we won it because we were the best that year. We were not ‘lucky’ or benefitted from others having off seasons, we simply outplayed everyone else. This year we could continue in a similar vein but Manchester City just look very ominous at the moment and look like they are going on one of those runs that will see them win the title by late April regardless of what anyone else, ourselves included, end up doing.
10. Finally, well done Brendan. He has introduced several fluid formations, has a squad with competition all over (well, maybe not striker but hey) and has us all brimming with confidence and the treble still on! Dream times for a fan of a ‘provincial’ club.
Rob (not getting carried away), Leicester
The red stain on the carpet
I’m on the verge of reporting this site for offences under the Trades Description Act (1968). It is called ‘Football365’. But surely it would be far more accurate if the actual title was ‘Liverpool And United Fans Incessantly Sniping/Whingeing/Gloating About Each Other (incorporating ‘Our Young Manager Is Better Than Yours and VAR Is Shit Weekly) 365?
I wouldn’t mind but the current crescendo of crashingly boring mails is the result of a spectacularly dull bore-draw. Not to mention the frankly puerile conspiracy theories around penalties or, so help me God, a ref blowing his whistle early. (And don’t get me started on the ‘usual suspects’ in the cesspit that is this site’s ‘comments’ section. If its’ regular contributors feel the need to respond to any given mail, then let them reply via the mailbox like the rest of us instead of trolling behind multiple anonymous accounts. It (the comments section) serves no obvious purpose and, in my respectful opinion, reflects rather badly on F365. Close it down).
Also, and you’ll understand that I’m not able to independently confirm this, but I’m led to believe that there were other ACTUAL football matches that took place last weekend and, indeed, on Monday night. Who knew?
Where are the guys that used to update this mailbox with summaries of the Czech and J-Leagues? Where are the likes of Ted, Manchester with balanced, thoughtful, educated and self-aware insights into their own teams?
I’m sure Winty will re-affirm that F365 can only print the mails they receive so, for all that is holy, and if you’re NOT wearing both a red shirt in the North-West and a tin-foil hat (along with your own unique sense of endless persecution), PLEASE start tapping away.
Derby fans. Is Rooney the answer? How exactly can he get you promoted? Toon. How does the living nightmare that is supporting your club EVER going to end? Are you going down?
ANY League 1 & 2 supporters. How are the clubs faring financially? Who are the runners and riders in terms of both promotion and relegation? Any ‘Harry Kane’s’ that you think are sure to go onto higher things? Why are Rangers dominating and why have Celtic seemingly imploded (relatively impartial/independent replies only to that one please!).
And finally, if any of the many thousands of regular readers based across this cursed COVID-19 planet could fill us in on any football-related scandals, politics or outstanding up and coming stars in the leagues of the country you currently live in then, likewise, I promise you most of us would love to hear about it.
As I type, it’s 72 minutes into the Leicester/Chelsea game with the hosts 2-0 up and comfortably so it seems to me. If Leicester do, in fact, win and the rumours today are to be believed, then Frank Lampard will get the tintack. If so then, unsurprisingly, tomorrow’s mailboxes will undoubtedly be Chelsea/Lampard centric.
None of which will change my plea to all of you who aren’t supporters of the ‘top 6’. Got something to say about your team, club or league or footy in general? Then let’s hear it. Anything, ANYTHING please that isn’t either an Anfield or OT exercise in navel-gazing!
To b*stardise a favourite quote of our American cousins, “Mails. Send ‘em all in. Let MC sort ‘em out”.
Oh, and this is not a blanket dig at every Red fan or their mails. That would be ridiculous. We all know to what I am referring. Let’s get back to interesting, thought provoking mails that both educate and give you unique insights into football that I, for one, became addicted to this site for in the first place.
Mark (For the nurses and doctors on the front line, wherever you are in the world, but especially to those in the UK. Please ignore the deniers and the partying, crowd-loving f*ckwits. They are NOT the majority. You ARE valued beyond belief and the sacrifices you have chosen to make in order to protect our most ill and most vulnerable weigh heavy on those of us who do not have your courage of purpose. May whatever God you follow bless you). MCFC
Sell Salah? Whaaaaat?
It never fails to amaze me how fickle football fans are. The opinion that Liverpool are now somehow finished and need to change their entire team because they have had a few poor games is ridiculous. I don’t think any of the other teams would perform well without their first choice CBs. I would expect them to struggle slightly.
My main issue though is that Salah for the last two or three years appears to be the scapegoat if Liverpool drop a single point. The way Mane gets treated reminds me of how David Silva and Kompany used to get treated. Never a peep about them being in some way culpable. It’s not that Mane has been bad but he did go through a very barren spell this season. I feel like he is more liked because of his work rate but I don’t think that automatically makes Salah’s work rate bad or lazy. Salah is extremely energetic too and good at pressing. Why are people making it out that Salah is dispensable? He has been their top scorer every single season he has been there. In two of those seasons, he was the top scorer in the entire league, and this season he is yet again the top scorer in the PL. He has got 31 assists in the PL since joining Liverpool, compared to Mane’s 18. He also outscores him quite easily as Salah has 111 goals compared to Mane’s 77 in the period since Salah joined.
Even if you deduct penalties, Salah still outscores him by 20 odd goals. I rate Mane quite highly and I reckon he is top 3 in the world in his position but I don’t understand why he is never criticized but Salah is. I don’t think either of them deserves criticism, to be honest. There have only been 18 games played this season. People act every week as if the title is decided and then a new team is in crisis. Salah is probably the best player in the world in his position, bar Messi. He is 28 and is still going to be in his prime for another 3 or 4 years, or maybe even longer when you see how Ibra, Ronaldo, Messi, Lewandowski, Vardy, and a few others are excelling still in their later years.
The fact that people think that Liverpool should sell him and that he would be easily replaceable is hilarious. Good luck finding another player with not only his level of output in terms of goals and assists, but also his pace, passing, dribbling, and work rate. He seems like a very hard working and determined player. Harvey Elliot seems like a great talent but if Liverpool are wanting to win more Champions League and PL titles, then pinning your hopes on a 17-year-old who only has experience in the Championship is not very smart. You would swear this Liverpool team declined to a level where they were coming 3rd or 4th and their best players were struggling for the entire season.
To the Wire?
Sam LFC, London suggested that Liverpool should emulate Game of Thrones by ridding themselves of their main stars on a regular basis.
Surely an easier way to maintain critical acclaim would be to copy The Wire, and just have the teams come out onto the pitch at Anfield to different versions of You’ll Never Walk Alone.