And so, the Frank Lampard era at Chelsea has drawn to a close. The 42-year old has been sacked by the club he devoted so may year to as a player, with Roman Abramovich already having Thomas Tuchel lined up to replace him.
Of course, this should not come as a surprise. Chelsea are a club who have always been quick to pull the plug on managers if they feel things are not working. Lampard's status as a legend at Stamford Bridge was always unlikely to make any real difference to this policy.
There has been little indication this season that Lampard was the long-term answer for Chelsea. Having been given perhaps a little bit too much credit for achievements last season, the current campaign has been a very different matter.
Chelsea have largely played like a team devoid of any real tactical direction, while their manager has also failed to get anything near top form from their various big money signings. His tendency to throw his players under the bus after any poor result is also unlikely to have gone down well in the dressing room.
In all, this move has been brewing for quite some time.
Chelsea Football Club has today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 25, 2021
The Athletic have published a very interesting article this morning detailing where everything has gone wrong for Lampard, with no shortage of potential answers. His relationship with the club hierarchy, lack of togetherness in the dressing room, and his treatment of some players all reportedly played a part.
However, one of the more interesting tidbits was the apparent role of Declan Rice in his departure.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the West Ham midfielder, with Lampard known to be a huge admirer. He has reportedly tried to sign him in each of the last three transfer windows, believing he could turn the former Ireland international into a top centre back.
On the other hand, Chelsea did not like the optics of spending a massive fee on a player they had released from their academy only a few years ago. As a result, they refused to sanction any transfer.
This didn't stop Lampard from pushing for the deal. In fact, a source told The Athletic as recently as December that his insistence on signing Rice could even cost him his job, saying:
He needs to stop pushing for Rice or he’ll lose his job.
The hierarchy are very wary about the potential embarrassment of buying back an academy reject at huge expense.
Not satisfied with turning his back on nations, it appears Rice has now moved onto getting other clubs' managers sacked.
Of course, this was not the main reason Lampard lost his job, but it does give you an interesting insight into how dysfunctional were during his time at Stamford Bridge.