Chelsea have announced the appointment of former coach Frank Lampard as interim manager until the end of the season.
The Blues sacked Graham Potter after an abysmal seven months in charge of the club. They lost his final game against Aston Villa, dropping them to 11th in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s owners, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, plus directors Christopher Vivell, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, are looking for a new manager,
They decided to put Lampard in charge. He will lead them until the end of the season as they perform an exhaustive search for a manager.
Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann are the top candidates for the job, but they have not agreed anything.
Chelsea want to interview more coaches for the role. There have been links to Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, Luciano Spalletti, Ruben Amorim, Antonio Gallardo, Antonio Conte and Abel Ferreira.
While the directors continue to search, Lampard will attempt to salvage a dire campaign for the London club.
How will Chelsea line up under Frank Lampard?
Kepa Arrizbalaga was the first-choice keeper under Potter, but Lampard previously preferred Edouard Mendy.
While Arrizabalaga’s stats have been impressive, there are still doubts about the Spaniard. Even at his best, he is not up to the standard of the club.
Mendy had shown that world-class standard under Lampard and former boss Thomas Tuchel. He lost form after returning from the 2021 African Cup of Nations, making several high-profile errors.
However, Lampard may restore Mendy to the starting line-up to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Lampard has his trusted wing-back duo of Ben Chilwell and Reece James fit. He will likely start them against Wolves.
It will be no surprise to see Marc Cucurella drop out of the starting XI despite impressing against Liverpool.
The new manager likes imposing defenders, allowing space for Benoit Badiashile, who was impressive before Potter inexplicably dropped him.
Kalidou Koulibaly excelled in the centre of the back three in Thiago Silva’s absence. Wesley Fofana was superb against the Reds in the 0-0 draw and should continue on the right side.
One of the deficiencies of Lampard’s previous tenure was the lack of a holding midfielder. The club still lacks a true one.
They have Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Enzo Fernandez in central midfield. The manager must choose which two to start, or he could roll with all three.
Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will likely be on the bench.
The attack is another area where Lampard has to make a massive call, with the frontline faltering.
Kai Havertz has been underperforming and could drop to the bench for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
Mykhailo Mudryk has a clean slate after an impressive cameo against Liverpool.
This period is a chance to prove his worth under the new manager and win a starting place. It is the same for Noni Madueke.
Lampard also has Joao Felix in the club’s arsenal. It will be unsurprising if he starts, as he has been their best attacker since joining in January.
He has been electrifying even though the end product has not been sufficient.
Mason Mount is someone who will benefit from Lampard’s return.
He was not a constant for Potter, but he is a favourite for the new boss and may play in attack or midfield.
Predicted Chelsea starting line-up against Wolves
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Reece James, Benoit Badiashile, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mason Mount.
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