Three goals in 15 miserable first-half minutes for Pep Guardiola’s men consigned the Blues to their fourth defeat in their last six Premier League games, a run of form which has seen Chelsea plummet down the league table after briefly sitting at the summit of the division just one month ago.
The goals – which came from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and ex-Chelsea man Kevin De Bruyne – never appeared close to being matched by Chelsea, as an irate Lampard made second half adjustments which failed to make a dent on Man City’s lead, save for Callum Hudson-Odoi’s late consolation.
Once again, Chelsea’s expensive summer imports failed to assert themselves. Timo Werner’s goal drought has now extended to nine Premier League games amid growing concerns that the German speedster is failing to adapt to the deeper, more physical defenders in English football. Werner’s international colleague, the £71 million import Kai Havertz, was a late, ineffective substitute.
As such, the man who brought these players to the club – novice boss Frank Lampard – is facing further questions as to his future in the Stamford Bridge hot seat at a club which has never been shy to wield a midseason managerial axe.
And per some supporters online, Lampard’s sacking is appearing increasingly inevitable.
This team isn’t playing for Frank Lampard. And once you’re in that situation it isn’t getting overturned 95% of the time.
— CFCDaily (@CFCDaily) January 3, 2021
This isn’t even our full-strength team and we’re slapping them on their home turf lmao. If Chelsea are a serious club Lampard should be gone tonight
— ⚡️🇧🇼 (@Priceless_Silva) January 3, 2021
He’s getting sacked the minute full time is called. This is utterly indefensible, I’m sorry Lampard but this is an atrocity.
— #8 (@MedianoEra) January 3, 2021
“Mr Roman me need more moneys” pic.twitter.com/6Hgiftqo9T
— Pøgba Senior (@TheSaItIsHere) January 3, 2021
However, while Chelsea fans’ tempers and emotions have been significantly frayed lately, it is debatable that Chelsea and Abramovich will make any drastic moves at this point of the season.
Chelsea’s recent slump has come mainly in the month of December (and now early January) amid a packed festive schedule which saw them play nine games since December 2, a factor which will likely stand in Lampard’s favor despite the poor results which followed.
However, The Athletic has reported that the Chelsea hierarchy are considering a number of candidates – likely to include Thomas Tuchel and Max Allegri – should they conclude that Lampard’s position as manager has become untenable.
Lampard is surely gone. Should be doing waaay better with his disposal. Tuchel/Allegri should be expecting a call from Roman soon
— Renato (@rehnato) January 3, 2021
This performance and the Arsenal performance are some of the most horrendous, disgraceful games I’ve seen from Chelsea in years.This just isn’t good enough. Something needs to change.
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) January 3, 2021
The truth is, even if Lampard is sacked, Chelsea fans will always respect him for his managerial career. Navigated us through the transfer ban, integrated youth & attracted big names. Sentiment shouldn’t be a reason to be Lampard in. I’m reserving my judgment for now.
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) January 3, 2021
Abramovich has long been the conductor of the managerial merry-go round at Stamford Bridge which has seen countless coaches come and go.
It was thought from the moment that Lampard was plucked from Championship side Derby County with just one season’s experience that his status as legendary figure for the Stamford Bridge faithful would make him harder to sack than most, but it appears as though Abramovich may soon have to test that theory unless results quickly improve and the gargantuan transfer fees handed out for Havertz and Werner are justified.
But judging by the reactions of some of the Stamford Bridge faithful online, there is no room for underperformance at Chelsea – even if the club’s record scorer is the author of it.