Harry Redknapp felt his nephew Frank Lampard deserved more time to turn around Chelsea’s form after he was sacked on Monday morning following a run of five defeats from eight Premier League games.
Former Derby boss Lampard signed a three-year deal in the summer of 2019 and, in spite of a transfer ban, led Chelsea to the FA Cup final and a fourth-place finish in his first managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.
With cash to spend ahead of this season, the arrivals of the likes of Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner has failed to translate into improved results and they are ninth in the Premier League at the halfway point, 11 points off leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea Football Club has today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 25, 2021
Redknapp told talkSPORT: “They’ve been on a bad little run, but so has everybody. This is a different time for football, it is almost a different game with no fans.
“Jurgen Klopp’s going through a bad spell. Does that suddenly make him a bad manager? He will come out of it again as we all know, but you need time. You will have your ups and downs.
“Alex Ferguson survived by the skin of his teeth when the board looked like they would sack him after 18 months or two years at Old Trafford where he hadn’t won anything.
“Suddenly he goes on to arguably be the greatest manager we’ve ever seen. You need time and unfortunately at Chelsea it seems a club where they don’t seem to give time.”
Redknapp questioned if the players brought in during the transfer window were wanted by Lampard and criticised the form of Werner and Havertz.
“You are only as good as your players at the end of the day and the two Germans have been massive disappointments, massive,” the 73-year-old said.
“I am not even sure, especially the centre forward, if he is cut out for English football. He looks to me like the physical side is too much for him. I don’t know who has brought them in.
“Suddenly it is, ‘We have spent £200million, there you are Frank go get on with it’, and that is football management these days.”
Gary Neville insists his former England team-mate will have known his job was at risk after major investment in the summer was followed by poor results.
Neville told Sky Sports News: “Frank has had a short amount of time with a new set of players. He was given a period under a transfer embargo, it shielded him, he did a great job in that period, but the minute they spent the money they did, it was always going to bring more expectation and we know what happens at Chelsea when expectation comes.
“When you have one of the biggest budgets in the league and biggest spend, expectation comes with it and at Chelsea their approach to managers has been consistent and Frank knew that when he got the job.
“Frank won’t want people to feel sorry for him, he’ll have an understanding that he went into a club that has always been like this with managers. The results and inconsistent form has cost him. As a club legend we maybe all thought he’d get a bit more time.”
Asked if Lampard took the job too early, he added: “I don’t believe it was too early, he had no choice. It’s OK everyone saying pick and choose, maybe he wasn’t right, there was no way you turn it down if you’re Frank Lampard. He’s a better manager today than he was 17 months ago, I hope he’s able to go and build a brilliant managerial career.
“I sit here with no feeling of sorry for Frank, or that he’s done anything other than a good job. It’s Chelsea…Frank has been exposed to Chelsea releasing managers every 12 to 18 months if things don’t go as they want. I don’t have any great deal of worry for Frank’s career.”
Thiago Silva was another of the big-name players to arrive at Stamford Bridge in the summer, albeit on a free transfer following his departure from Paris St Germain.
I would like to thank you for everything you and your committee have done for me since the day I arrived. As I told you, it seemed like we had been working together for 10 years!! Thank you very much for everything legend . #FrankLampard#legend 💙💙 pic.twitter.com/tAyKKLZO6X
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) January 25, 2021
The veteran Brazilian defender paid a glowing tribute to Lampard, tweeting: “I would like to thank you for everything you and your committee have done for me since the day I arrived. As I told you, it seemed like we had been working together for 10 years!! Thank you very much for everything legend.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Lampard has learnt the hard way that football is a results business.
He said: “For young and old managers – you have to win. When people talk about projects and ideas, they don’t exist. You have to win or you will be be sacked.
“I respect the decision from Chelsea but a huge hug for Frank. Hopefully I can see him soon, when the lockdown is over I can go to a restaurant to see him.
“It depends on results, not about the way you play, not about philosophy or projects. You have to get results. If you don’t you will be replaced as manager.”