In the past Chelsea players have been accused of picking and choosing when they perform for the club. And with the sour ends to the reigns of the last three managers, you sit there and start to think about whether it could be true. The most important thing Frank Lampard faces if he is appointed Chelsea manager is stamping his authority early doors in his Chelsea reign. Lampard needs to ensure he lets the Chelsea players know that he is in charge, or he could lose the dressing room in a similar fashion to his three predecessors.
Jose Mourinho and his title-winning Chelsea side of 2014/2015 endured a spectacular fall from grace just seven months after winning the Premier League. A 2-1 loss to the eventual champions Leicester was enough for Roman Abramovich to pull the trigger and sack the Portuguese manager in December of 2015.
It wasn’t just the fall that got people questioning Chelsea players, it was how badly they fell after winning the title. Reports were rife of Mourinho losing the dressing room with players reportedly turning against him, and when compared to the results at the time, the reports look to be true. After the loss to Leicester City in December Chelsea sat just outside the relegation places, one point ahead of 18th-placed Norwich City.
You’re probably sat there and saying: ‘Well Mourinho showed at Manchester United that he could have been the issue.’ Then how do you explain the situations of Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, both of whom faced similar rumours of a lack of control in Chelsea’s dressing room?
While Conte didn’t experience a fall from grace quite as sensational as Mourinho, Chelsea still endured a torrid campaign in the 2017/2018 season. It was reported that Conte fell out with numerous players which eventually led to the sacking of the Italian despite winning the FA Cup.
While Mourinho’s and Conte’s lack of control were just rumours, and couldn’t be confirmed, Sarri’s were very much evident. During the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City, Kepa Arizzabalaga publicly refused to be substituted despite Sarri deciding to do otherwise. Such a public dispute with Sarri showed just how much control the 60-year-old had at the club.
These problems are something Lampard must tackle head-on, especially with his lack of experience as a manager at a top level club. He must ensure he doesn’t face the same level of mutiny which his three predecessors faced. Despite his connection with the club, there’s nothing stopping the current crop of Chelsea players turning on the 41-year-old.