Lampard took the job in the summer of 2019, on the back of a single season’s experience as a manager at the Championship team Derby County. In his first year at Chelsea, he guided the club to a creditable fourth-place finish in the Premier League, despite the club’s losing his star, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid and working under the restrictions of a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
The stakes this season were always likely to be higher: Chelsea spent $300 million on new players last summer, despite the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with a view to challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Under those increased demands, Lampard has struggled. Two of the most expensive summer signings, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, have made little impression, and the club has dropped out of the title race at the season’s halfway point.
Fearful that qualification for next season’s Champions League was at risk, the club felt it had no choice but to act. Chelsea is expected to appoint Thomas Tuchel, the former Paris St.-Germain and Borussia Dortmund coach, as Lampard’s replacement.