Chelsea’s next manager is ‘likely’ to be German-speaking as the pressure continues to mount on Frank Lampard following the club’s disappointing run of form.
Lampard’s position has come under increasing scrutiny following a run of five defeats in the club’s past eight league fixtures, with Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at top-four rivals Leicester leaving the Blues ninth and potentially eight points adrift of the Champions League places at the conclusion of the latest round of fixtures.
The 42-year-old was widely praised for guiding the west London side into the top four and reaching the FA Cup final last season in difficult circumstances, overcoming the sale of Eden Hazard and the club’s transfer ban by laying future foundations by integrating several academy graduates.
Expectations have markedly changed, however, following a lavish summer spend that saw owner Roman Abramovich invest more than £220m on a host of new additions, with Chelsea‘s inexperienced manager having failed to settle on his best team or extract the most from his resources this season.
According to The Athletic, contingency plans are already underway should results fail to improve, and Chelsea are considering the prospect of a German-speaking manager should they choose to part ways with Lampard.
The decision comes amid the club’s desire to tap into the knowledge of the Bundesliga, in addition to getting the best out of Germany internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, the duo signed at a cost of over £110m during the summer and yet to find their feet in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s hierarchy will undoubtedly be concerned with the ineffective performances of £72m club-record signing Havertz, whilst Werner has faded following a bright start and has failed to score in his past 11 league appearances, dropping to the bench for recent clashes against Fulham and Leicester.
Several names previously linked with Chelsea – including Julian Nagelsmann, Ralf Rangnick and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl – have previously worked with Werner, whilst Thomas Tuchel offers a different German-speaking option after leaving Paris Saint-Germain last month.
According to the report, there is a belief that German-schooled coaches are ‘used to working within a very defined club structure’ including sporting directors, and would offer a different route to the previously volatile tenures of coaches such as Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.
Above all is a need to extract the most from a clearly talented but underperforming squad and the hope of “improving the collective while, simultaneously, raising individual standards within the squad through solid man-management”.
Lampard is currently facing the first real crisis of his managerial career and much will depend on how Chelsea emerge from their next set of fixtures, facing four of the Premier League’s bottom seven in their next five league games.
Falling further adrift, however, could see the axe fall on a manager who appears unsure of his best side or system some 18 months after his appointment at Stamford Bridge.
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