The former Stamford Bridge favourite is worried by how quickly the Blues have turned into “one of the most pedestrian” sides in the Premier League
Roman Abramovich will sack Frank Lampard if he doesn’t deliver a top-four finish this season according to Craig Burley, who says the Chelsea boss is now on the “chopping board”.
The 42-year-old recieved a lot of credit for moulding a competitive team made up of several academy graduates, with Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori all making a big impact.
He was able to bolster his ranks further in the summer transfer window, with the Blues backing their manager to the tune of over £200 million (£183m/$245m) as Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell all made their way to west London.
Unfortunately, not all of the new signings have adapted to life in English football as quickly as a supporters might have hoped, and Chelsea have struggled for consistency amid the congested fixture list caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lampard saw his team suffer their third defeat in four matches away at Arsenal on Saturday with the 3-1 reversal leaving them down in seventh in the Premier League standings.
Burley thinks pressure is building on a club legend heading into the second half of the season, with Blues owner Abramovich not known for being patient with the managers he has worked with in the past.
“[Lampard’s] got players out of form, he’s got players that are not fully fit, and that’s a problem,” the former Chelsea midfielder told ESPN. “They have gone from looking one of the paciest, quickest sides in the Premier League, to one of the most pedestrian.
“That is a huge issue for him because you may have noticed with this owner Roman Abramovich, he doesn’t suffer inconsistency, bad results, no matter who it is. So let me be clear, Lampard is back on the chopping board currently as we speak.”
Burley added: “It’s turn-up time for Lampard and these players. This cut and thrust period can make and break you.
“I’m not suggesting Abramovich is going to sack him in the next couple of weeks, but there is one thing they need to remember – top four. If they don’t get in the top four, he’s probably done.
“It’s a big season for him. It looked as if it was going swimmingly and now it looks like they’re sinking a little bit. They seem to have a weight around their feet. He’s going to have to find the reason to put it right.”
Chelsea will be back in Premier League action when high flying Aston Villa arrive at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.