When the knives come out, so do the cliches about “losing the dressing room” and the squad “downing tools”. Football media loves a good cliche, and those two are as good — read: lazy — as they come. They cover all manner of ails and issues without offering any actual insight! Perfect for easy consumption.
That’s not to say that everything’s all hunky-dory at Stamford Bridge. Results on the pitch have been far from great, with the team’s tactics, level of play, and at times general effort leaving a fair amount to be desired. Lampard’s being put under increasing pressure and questioning, with at least one (presumably well-sourced) report pushing him right to the edge of the Moon Door in Abramovich’s (well, Granovskaia’s) office.
If history’s any indication, Lampard’s indeed on thin ice at this point, though as Nizaar Kinsella of Goal reports, not in “immediate” danger of the sack. Must be like the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. The funnel cloud is not on the ground yet, but things are swirling rather suspiciously.
Kinsella’s report also reinforces the seemingly obvious idea that “most” of the dressing room is firmly behind Lampard, which should be expected given all the new signings talking up the Chelsea legend as a reason for signing in the first place, and the kids from the Academy grateful to him and former youth coach Jody Morris for the opportunities. The obvious exceptions to these are players who are on the fringes of the team and not getting much action, especially the older types, who are providing “some discontent” — though, to their credit, no one’s been causing any publicly overt disruption.
The report adds that Chelsea have “not yet contacted” Massimiliano Allegri over a potential opening and that while Thomas Tuchel is social media’s flavor of the week, he’s never “topped the club’s shortlist” at any point in the past.
Regardless of what your preference or opinion on all this may be, the only way forward is to get back to winning. Next up: Morecambe in the FA Cup (Sunday) and then Fulham away the Friday after.