Chelsea legend Frank Lampard could face the sack as Blues manager within the next few WEEKS if he can’t recover the team’s disastrous dip in form, claims former Arsenal winger Perry Groves.
The talkSPORT pundit has accused the rookie boss of being ‘tactically naïve’ during his first season as a Premier League coach.
Chelsea host London rivals Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime in a crucial battle for the top-four – and it’s LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on talkSPORT.
The Blues go into the derby on the back of a run of just FOUR wins from their last 14 league matches.
Remarkably, Chelsea have remained in a Champions League spot despite their catastrophic arrest of form, although it has allowed Spurs to climb to within just a point of the top-four.
In fact, if results don’t go their way this weekend – if they lose against Spurs, Sheffield United beat Brighton and Manchester United beat Watford – Chelsea could slide down to SEVENTH in the table.
Lampard’s Chelsea record compared
Chelsea under Frank Lampard
Win percentage: 49%
Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri
Win percentage: 62%
They are also facing a tough run of games against Liverpool and Everton in the league and Bayern Munich in the Champions League in the next two weeks.
Some supporters have already begun to turn on their hero, and Groves believes even Lampard’s legendary status won’t save him if Chelsea can’t bounce back.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, he said: “A lot of Chelsea fans said they would give him this season and I said if it didn’t go well he would get a little bit longer than other managers, because he is Frank Lampard.
“But trust me if this doesn’t go well, if he doesn’t get his team selection and tactics right, you watch, by March 8th he could be on his way.
“He hasn’t helped himself with some of his team selections and he hasn’t helped himself with some of his tactics, where him and Jody Morris have been a bit naive.
“For example; he played N’Golo Kante, arguably the best holding midfielder player in the world, in a 4-2-3-1 system at Leicester and they drew 2-2. He was the best player on the pitch by a mile.
“But then in their next game against Man United he goes back to the 4-3-3 and Kante is on the right again, it just doesn’t make any sense.
“Then Kante goes off injured and you’re left with a midfield of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount, which is very lightweight.”
During their torrid run, Chelsea’s performances at home have been one of the biggest causes for alarm.
In an old fashioned ‘home table’ of the Premier League, Chelsea are 12th, having won just five of their 13 games at Stamford Bridge this season.
Groves claims he has seen the team shrink under the pressure of the home fans, and has called for supporters to back their team to help them out of their rut.
“The fans don’t get behind them,” said the former Arsenal man.
“I’ve Chelsea play at home this season and they go into their shell at Stamford Bridge, trust me.
“They haven’t got the personalities and the characters to get the game by the scruff of the neck.
“Chelsea fans have to get behind their team at Stamford Bridge.”