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Chelsea sack manager Lampard after 18 months

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  • Thomas Tuchel to take over

Frank Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea FC after just 18 months as head coach and will be replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea’s decision, according to the club’s statement quoted by Sky Sport, on Monday, was based on poor results of the team under Lampard.

The statement said, “Results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.”

In another statement, owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, said, “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.

“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”

Tuchel, who left PSG in December and previously managed Borussia Dortmund, will be Chelsea’s next head coach and plans are under way to appoint him before the game against Wolves on Wednesday. The German is the only candidate for the role.

Lampard, who is the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, enjoyed a good first season as Blues boss, taking them to the FA Cup final and securing qualification for the Champions League.

But after being given more than £200m to spend on new players in the summer, Chelsea find themselves ninth in the Premier League after 19 games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth.

Lampard took the side on a 17-game unbeaten run but away defeats to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester and a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City have cost him his job.

Chelsea had looked at bringing in an interim manager but RB Leipzig’s former Head of Sport Ralf Rangnick turned down the opportunity.

Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal in 2017 with Dortmund before a brief but trophy-laden spell in Paris which saw him win two Ligue 1 titles and a French Cup, as well as reaching the final of last season’s Champions League, which they lost to Bayern Munich.

“Roman Abramovich’s quotes on the sacking show just how much respect he has for Frank Lampard. Abramovich has never previously commented on footballing matters.

“The decision was difficult because it was Lampard, but easy because of what was happening on the pitch.

“Lampard lost his job because the board were very concerned by results and performances, especially the fact that he has the worst points per game record of any manager in the Abramovich era.

“The board could not see a way for Lampard to reverse the negative direction of travel.

“The board were very concerned about the lack of confidence, form and momentum.

“Lampard was told at the start of the season that the target was to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City and to be challenging at the top. That has not happened so a change had to be made. The aim was not just to finish in the top four.

“Chelsea felt they had no option but to make the change now in order to give Thomas Tuchel as much time as possible to turn their season around.

“Tuchel is being appointed because he is the best man for the job – it has nothing to do with him being German and nothing to do with trying to get the best out of Werner, Havertz and Rudiger.

“Lampard was told this morning. As always, he took it like the ultimate professional.”

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Everton confirm former Burnley boss Dyche as new manager

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Everton have confirmed the appointment of former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The report came on Monday that Dyche had been chosen by the Everton board as Frank Lampard’s successor, after also holding talks with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Dyche, according to a Sky Sports report, is the seventh permanent manager hired by Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri since he took over the club nearly seven years ago.

Lampard’s last game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham on January 21, which kept them second-bottom on 15 points after 20 games – two points below the safety zone.

The Merseyside club had been floundering under the former England international, having last won a league game in October when they beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at home.

Lampard was appointed by Everton in January 2022 after he managed Chelsea from 2019/2021 and Derby County in the second tier in 2018/19, but Dyche will now be tasked with arresting the slide towards the Championship.

Dyche told the club’s official website, “It’s an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track.

“I know about Everton’s passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We’re ready to work and ready to give them what they want. That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for for a long time.”

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Mourinho Compares Victor Osimhen to one of the African legend, Didier Drogba

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Victor Osimhen

AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has compared Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli of Italy hitman, Victor Osimhen, to Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba.

NEWSBREAK reports that the  Nigerian striker netted a world-class goal as his side, Napoli, marched towards the Serie A title on Sunday. Osimhen’s classic goal came against Mourinho’s Roma at the Diego Maradona stadium where Napoli won 2-1.

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Speaking after the match, Mourinho, a former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, said: “He (Osimhen) is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money. However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

He added: “I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive.”

Osimhen, 24, is currently the highest goal scorer in the Italian league Serie A with 14 goals scored in 16 matches.

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Kelechi Iheanacho’s record goal helps Leicester qualify for last 16 FA Cup

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Leicester city needed the goal from Nigerian footballer Kelechi Iheanacho to avoid a shock elimination from the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Walsall on Saturday.

The Nigerian has scored more goals in the competition than any other player since making his debut in 2016.

Iheanacho’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances had some fortune as his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection for the only goal 23 minutes from time.

Leicester, Leeds and Man United join Manchester City as the first four sides to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

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