Football news: Tuchel, Shevchenko, Allegri, Nagelsmann and Rodgers - 5 to replace Lampard at Chelsea
Despite an FA Cup win at the weekend, news broke on Monday that Chelsea had sacked Frank Lampard as a result of the club's poor recent form. We consider who could be in line to replace the club’s former midfielder as their new boss. There are five clear options should they decide to make a change.
Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel answers journalists
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has never been shy about pulling the trigger on his managers. Carlo Ancelotti impressed but was quickly cut when he failed to win the league. Antonio Conte promptly bristled at the restrictions placed upon him. Roberto Di Matteo was given the elbow despite winning the Champions League only a few months before, and Jose Mourinho left in acrimonious circumstances not just once, but twice.
Now Lampard has joined that infamous list at Stamford Bridge. The club spent around £200 million on players after he guided the team into the Champions League places despite the transfer ban in the previous campaign. However the new signings have not yet produced their best for the club on a consistent basis, and the team are now in ninth.
We look at the options for Abramovich after he wielded the axe again.
Shevchenko had a torrid time at Chelsea as a player, hitting a meagre nine goals in 48 Premier League appearances during a three-season stint at Stamford Bridge between 2006 and 2009. The now 44-year-old retired in 2012 after a return to AC Milan – on loan – and then first-club Dynamo Kyiv.
In 2016 he was appointed head coach of the Ukrainian national team, following their elimination at the group stage of the Euros. However, qualification for the World Cup in 2018 was beyond his side, who finished third in a group that also contained Iceland, Croatia and Turkey. An impressive showing in qualifying for Euro 2020 – topping a group that included Portugal and Serbia – has seen the former AC Milan forward’s stock rise,.
Does he have the requisite experience to be a success at the club? And would he be willing leave his post as national team boss? Or could he job share? These are some of the questions that need answering.
Andriy Shevchenko, Manager of Ukraine and Illia Zabarnyi of Ukraine celebrate victory after the UEFA Nations League group stage match vs Spain
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Allegri’s biggest weakness is his failure to do especially well in Europe with Juventus, and that could be a concern given the strength of the team he had in Italy, and the relatively undemanding domestic obligations he had.
Because of the ease with which he succeeded in Serie A, it is a little tough to judge just how competent he is when it comes to motivation and team building, though Conte has already demonstrated the ability to win the league in England.
Allegri is keen on a move to England and has been taking English lessons so he would hit the ground running. Having left the Italian champions a couple of seasons ago there would be no negotiation needed with Juventus to secure his release. In the middle of the season, the ability to get him in quickly during a transfer window could be a key advantage.
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Nagelsmann would be the obvious candidate if Chelsea are really concerned by how Timo Werner has settled in. He is struggling to affect games as he had been for Leipzig, but by being reunited with his former boss he could spark into life.
RB Leipzig might be well funded and have ambitions to usurp Bayern Munich as the dominant force in German football, but they have shown themselves to be pragmatic when it comes to player sales. They are reportedly willing to let Dayot Upamecano go by prematurely honouring a release clause not due to activate until the summer, and their progress is not built on Nagelsmann alone. It might be possible for Abramovich to get his hands on one of the most attacking and promising managers in Europe, who has shown that his talents are also suited to the Champions League with a big win over United this season.
Julian Nagelsmann und Timo Werner von RB Leipzig
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Tuchel, like Allegri, would be a relatively straightforward appointment for Chelsea after he was let go by Paris Saint-Germain. At the heart of his fall is the toxic relationship he had with club executive Leonardo, who often got involved in playing matters and transfer policy. That would again be a problem for Tuchel at Chelsea given the strategy of the club in the market is often independent of the desires of the manager.
However, Tuchel demonstrated at Borussia Dortmund and at PSG an aptitude for producing attacking, direct football which would suit the players at his disposal should he move to London.
Christian Pulisic, Werner, Hakim Ziyech and others offer verve and technique in attack, and did not gel under Lampard. A fresh start under Tuchel may help, and the presence of his trusted on-pitch deputy Thiago Silva could be key in fixing a leaky Chelsea defence.
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Rodgers would be perhaps the toughest appointment, even though he might be the riskiest manager on offer. The former Liverpool manager showed in his time at Anfield that he is capable of launching a credible title challenge, and one could say that he pushed both Chelsea and Manchester City hard with a squad which was weaker than his rivals’. However he also failed to deal well with a difficult relationship with the club’s transfer committee, which has been a source of tension between the club and most Chelsea managers over the past two decades.
His time at Celtic is essentially meaningless when it comes to judging his abilities as a manager, but his switch to Leicester City has shown many of his qualities. The club continues to improve in attack and there is more to them now than Jamie Vardy - there is more variety. Perhaps most importantly, the defence is solid, a tactical weakness that had stood out with most of Rodgers’ previous sides.
One obstacle is that Leicester are far from a selling club. They made Manchester United pay up for Harry Maguire, and City did the same for Riyad Mahrez before then. If they are to get Rodgers then they would likely have to offer plenty by way of compensation for the man who used to manage Chelsea's academy team.
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