Why it would be madness for Chelsea to sack Sarri and bring in Lampard and Cech

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 28 May 2019, 13:34

Roman Abramovich is rumoured to be on his way into Baku to watch his first competitive Chelsea match in more than a year tomorrow night.

The Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal in far-away Azerbaijan has done little to attract many supporters to the shore of the Caspian Sea on the fringes of Asia.

Yet it seems to have forced Chelsea’s owner into getting up off his backside to actually go and watch his team play first hand - something he has not done since before the end of last season.

Whilst in Baku, Abramovich will be watching more than one final, as it is the last game for Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, once a favourite of the Russian at Stamford Bridge.

Cech is retiring prematurely at 37, fuelling speculation that he is walking straight into a prominent role as sporting director at his old club to work for Abramovich once again.

And in conjunction with the comings and goings of Cech we are also led to believe that another of Abramovich’s old stalwarts Frank Lampard is going to be joining him as first team coach.

All of which means that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri could be rewarded for winning his first trophy as a manager with the sack - or an invitation to leave.

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There’s lots of ifs, buts and maybes but then that is life at Chelsea. However, Abramovich should take note of the huge risk he would be taking by throwing Cech and Lampard together in what would be a seismic summer even by their standards.

What would look amazing for the fans in a first day photocall - Super Frank and legendary keeper Cech shoulder to shoulder on the Stamford Bridge pitch with blue and white scarves held aloft would provide an instant buzz.

But what sense would it make giving two rookies the keys to the safe and the dressing room at the same time?

Chelsea is a multi-national, global brand now and giving two massively inexperienced figures like Cech and Lampard control in one blinding swing of the axe would not represent sound business sense.

If Abramovich thinks that is a good idea, it’s a genuine concern how he ended up one of the world’s top ten richest blokes.

Lampard does show enormous promise as a manager. Anybody who knows him knew that a long time ago anyway.

The narrow defeat to Aston Villa in Monday’s Championship Play Off Final should have no bearing on his long term future.

Were Chelsea to have an experienced link-person to the board above him, fine. Perhaps.

If Petr Cech came in to work with Maurizio Sarri, great. The Italian does not give a hoot about the transfer market anyway and would be quite happy to let the younger man do all the donkey work signing players (or not as the case may be).

But throwing them in together with their ‘L’ plates still hanging from the lapels of their club suits would be utter madness.

It’s the sort of thing we would expect from the old Abramovich. He wasn’t even 40 years old when he bought the club and changed the landscape of football in this country forever with his impulsive sackings.

Abramovich is 52 now and we should assume the levels of testosterone in his Russian blood are subsiding.

He gave Jose Mourinho time to either sort out the mess he got into or hang himself back in 2015, Sarri could have been sacked in February when he was losing his grip on the season - but he didn’t.

That was then, this is now. Things have changed.

There are similarities between Lampard and Sarri. The gruff former banker had not worked in the Premier League either before getting the job last summer. That goes in fledgling Lampard’s favour.

Both are dedicated to the extreme. Lampard’s work ethic remains the stuff of legend at Chelsea.

It’s a standing joke that Sarri has only taken his long-suffering wife out to London once in 11 months living in the greatest city in the world because of his obsession with work.

Why, both managers also share common interests in being sent off this season from the touchline.

But where there is a key difference is that Sarri is 60 and has worked at a high level for a lot longer than Lampard.

He also dug Chelsea out of a steaming great hole when the results and morale dipped in late winter. That is when managers earn their money, not when things are riding high.

Being head coach at Chelsea is about crisis management because one is never far away. Lampard has not had to deal with that, neither has Cech.

And there’s no bigger crisis at the moment than the impending transfer ban over rule-breaking on young, foreign players. That would land straight in Cech’s in-tray on day one.

Abramovich needs to use tomorrow night in Baku as a chance to see for himself what his next step is and not to give in to the romantic side of him which will be screaming at him to bin Sarri and take on Lampard and Cech.

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