ENGLISH Premier League giants Chelsea have sacked manager Frank Lampard and replaced him with former Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel in a desperate attempt to revive their title hopes.
In the summer, Chelsea spent $292m, bringing in players like Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakin Ziyech and Edouard Mendyin a bid to make the team string enough to compete for the Premier League title. However, half way through the season, Chelsea are sitting in ninth place in the table, some 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea, the one team in England that has signed more Nigerians than any other, are desperate to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the title. However, it appears that Lampard lacked the clout to get the best of out the array of world class players assembled, so was given the boot this morning.
Owner Roman Abramovich, said: “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.”
Chelsea have lost five of their past eight Premier League matches after a good start to the season and despite an FA Cup win over the weekend, the club decided to go for experience and pedigree in Tuchel. On Saturday, Chelsea beat Luton Town 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round but the result was not enough to keep Lampard in his job.
German coach Tuchel, who left PSG in December, is revered for his tactical knowledge and style of play. With his arrival in England, Tuchel will be looking to resume a rivalry with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who he twice replaced when he left Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.
Lampard, who was appointed head coach at Stamford Bridge in July 2019, guided the club to Champions League qualification and the FA Cup final in his first season in charge. He was supported by owner Roman Abramovich in the summer transfer market as Chelsea made seven new signings, including big-money transfers Havertz and Werner.
However, after a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions earlier this season, Chelsea’s form has nosedived. Since the middle of December, they have lost away to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester and were also beaten 3-1 at home by Manchester City.
Nigerian players who have featured for Chelsea include Celestine Babayaro, Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, while Kenneth Omeruo was also on their books but never played for the club. Other players plying their trade for the side who are eligible to play for Nigeria include Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.