Chelsea must move beyond football’s reactionary trend if the club hopes to create a long-term vision for its future, according to Frank Lampard.
Co-owner Todd Boly sacked two managers this season in the team’s worst campaign of the Premier League era, with a record low scoring record and the first bottom-half finish since 1996.
They are one of only 11 top-flight clubs to have changed managers at least once this season: themselves, Leeds and relegated Southampton have dropped two managers as the average manager’s tenure in the Premier League has shrunk to just over 18 months.
Chelsea’s previously indifferent form plummeted after Graham Potter was sent off on 2 April with one win in 10 games in all competitions. The team failed to score in six of those matches following Potter’s sacking.
Lampard takes his team to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday, looking to pick up just the second win in his 10th game since taking over, having lost seven of his previous nine.
Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be confirmed as head coach for next season soon, and the outgoing interim manager has suggested that resistance to current trends must prevail if Chelsea are to challenge again.
“This statistic (11 clubs that have sacked their managers) says it all, I think it’s a record,” said Lampard. “There are clear factors, the brand of the Premier League and what it means for teams to stay in it.
“The first person to be blamed is the coach, if you understand that going to work is probably a good thing.
“Or, of course, there are many other factors. You wonder how successful changing these things is always. Understandably, this has become such a job and a situation, and there are many teams struggling with expectations that may not be entirely stable.
“In any case, we live in a very reactionary world. In past years, the reaction to one, two, three defeats could be different. Now we have a very fast explosion and you just have to understand it when you are doing this job.”
The job of finding a permanent replacement for Potter was taken over by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Lawrence Stewart, who themselves joined the club only last year.
Previously, Boly served as interim sporting director and was directly involved in recruiting players and in the doomed appointment of former Brighton Potter boss.
Lampard said he enjoyed working with Winstanley and Stewart and that the pair created a working atmosphere at the club to help his successor succeed.
The new manager’s first task will be to shrink the bloated first team before moving on to close the gap on a top four that could score 30 points this campaign.
“The dialogue has been really good from the moment I got this opportunity,” said Lampard. “I was able to get along well with them on a personal and professional level, and it’s nice to have such close communication.
“Working in this job, you understand that when you don’t have communication in the football field, you don’t have enough of it. With both of them, Paul and Lawrence, I had it my way and it was good and I appreciate it.
“Their main goal is to get Chelsea back to where we want them to be. The responsibility lies not only with them, but they play an important role in it. I was impressed with how our interaction was and I wish them well in the future.
“There is a real alignment of thought (successful clubs). Where are we at the moment, this is going to be a workflow where we try to see where we are aligned and where we want to hit and what does that look like? It’s a lot of work and in Paul and Lawrence we have good people to do it.
“It is difficult in the modern world, because everything is very reactionary. If you want to move in a certain direction and don’t get any joy for a while, people react to it. For Chelsea it should be a longer picture to give us a little more information about the process. People should stick to this throughout the journey.”