Frank Lampard’s SHOCKING record in first Chelsea spell

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 6 Apr 2023 13:46 BST
  • 5 min read
Frank Lampard, Everton, 2021/22

Frank Lampard’s return as Chelsea manager, albeit on a caretaker basis, comes as much more of a shock than his departure did in January 2020.

Indeed, he departed the club with the second-worst record of any manager of the Roman Abramovich era, with the Russian notoriously quick on the trigger to axe underperforming managers.

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Lampard, though, was given greater leeway, in part due to the circumstances of the squad he inherited but also because of his status as a fan favourite.

Lampard was Chelsea’s 12th full-time manager of Abramovic’s 19-year tenure of the club, with his replacement Thomas Tuchel the last. With Chelsea lying ninth in the Premier League table when he departed – they are currently 11th - and having spent more money than any other club in 2020 (sound familiar?), few could blame the Russian on this occasion.

Indeed, as the numbers below show, it is remarkable that Lampard lasted so long.

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The numbers that spelt trouble for Lampard

For the sake of comparison, Lampard’s record in the league in 2019/20 stood at 1.53 points per game, with the Blues having progressed comfortably in the Champions League.

Back in 2003/04, the amiable >Claudio Ranieri left after just one season of Abramovich’s reign. The Italian had led Chelsea to second in the table and the semi-finals of the Champions League. He was dismissed after picking up 2.08 points per game over that Premier League campaign.

Then, of course, came Jose Mourinho, full of ‘Special One’ bluster. The Portuguese survived over three years under Abramovich, a comparative eternity, yet a 1-1 draw with Rosenborg in the Champions League accounted for him.

He left as early as 20 September following a blip in form that saw the club lose just one of the seven competitive matches they played. Their start in the league was seen as catastrophic, but with 1.83 points per game, it was comfortably better than Lampard’s record when he left.

Similarly, Avram Grant, who took charge following Mourinho’s departure, was jettisoned at the end of the season. He led Chelsea to the Champions League final, in which they were an infamous John Terry slip away from winning a maiden title. Grant picked up 2.24 points per game in the Premier League.

He was brushed aside for the high-profile arrival of Brazil World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. ‘Big Phil’ proved to be a disaster for Chelsea, however. He barely lasted seven months, though even he picked up 1.96 points per game.

Abramovich’s Chelsea managers & points per game won in the season they were sacked

Claudio Ranieri2003/042.08
Jose Mourinho2006/071.83
Avram Grant2006/072.24
Luiz Felipe Scolari2007/081.83
Carlo Ancelotti2010/111.87
Andre Villas-Boas2011/121.70
Roberto Di Matteo2012/132.00
Jose Mourinho2014/151.06
Antonio Conte2017/181.84
Maurizio Sarri2018/191.89
Frank Lampard2020/211.53

In June 2009, in came Carlo Ancelotti. He too found that second was not good enough for Abramovich after being beaten to the 2010/11 title by Manchester United, earning 1.87 points per game in the process. Chelsea also reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League that season.

Andre Villas-Boas followed the Italian. He was another perceived to have been a tremendous flop as he was sacked on 4th March. Earning 1.70 points per game, he also outperformed Lampard in an absolute fashion during his sacking season.

Abramovich’s sacking of AVB could be justified as Chelsea went on to win the Champions League under Roberto Di Matteo, who has gone on to achieve little in management since. Nevertheless, he could not be sacked after such an achievement but lasted only six months more. When he departed in November 2012, Chelsea were picking up points at a rate of two points a game that term, though were in a four-match winless run in the league.

After Rafael Benitez had taken charge on an interim basis, Mourinho returned in 2013 and lasted until 17 December, 2015. When he departed, Chelsea were hovering a little above the relegation zone, with 18 points from 17 games. In the context of Abramovich’s time at Stamford Bridge, it is remarkable he lasted so long.

Antonio Conte arrived in 2016 and survived two seasons. The Blues only finished fifth in the latter of his two years but did win the FA Cup. Chelsea had won 1.84 points per game in the Premier League.

The Italian theme continued in the dugout, though Maurizio Sarri lasted only a single year, despite Europa League success, a League Cup runners-up spot and a third place in the league. He made way for Lampard after earning 1.89 points per game – a far better ratio than the former England midfielder enjoys.

Lampard was, therefore, given his chance by Abramovich, who had not been nearly so forgiving in the past. Indeed, only Mourinho in 2014/15 was sacked with a poorer record than the former England international.]

The club legend returns for his second spell in charge of the Blues hoping to redeem himself and revive his managerial career as well as Chelsea's disappointing campaign.