Chelsea appoints Frank Lampard as interim manager through the end of the season

Lampard was Chelsea's manager from 2019-21 and was sacked at Everton in January

Frank Lampard is back for a second stint as Chelsea’s manager.

The former Chelsea legend and team’s all-time leading goal scorer was appointed the team’s interim manager on Thursday for the rest of the 2022-23 season. Lampard takes over after Chelsea fired Graham Potter this week and is the Blues’ fourth manager of the season after Bruno Saltor was in charge of the team's 0-0 draw with Liverpool this week.

Lampard began the season at Everton but was fired as the Toffees’ manager in January after a miserable start to the season. His second appointment at Chelsea is through the end of the season as the team eyes other managers like former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann and former Spain manager Luis Enrique as its next permanent manager.

“We are delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge,” Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in a statement. “Frank is a Premier League Hall of Famer and a legend at this club. As we continue our thorough and exhaustive process for a permanent head coach, we want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season. We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.”

Lampard’s priority as the team’s interim boss is Champions League success. Chelsea is currently 11th in the Premier League standings and 14 points outside the top four. It’s basically impossible for the Blues to qualify for next season’s Champions League through the league standings.

That means Chelsea’s best chance of Champions League soccer next season is a Champions League title. Chelsea is one of eight teams remaining in the quarterfinals after taking out Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16. But the Blues have defending champions Real Madrid in the quarters after Madrid knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League a season ago.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Everton manager Frank Lampard during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton FC at London Stadium on January 21, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Frank Lampard was fired as Everton's manager in January. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s rocky stretch

Lampard’s first stint at Chelsea manager lasted less than two years. He was appointed in July of 2019 and left the club in January of 2021 after Chelsea won 44 of its 84 matches across all competitions in his tenure.

He was replaced by Thomas Tuchel in 2021 and Tuchel led the team to a Champions League title months later via a 1-0 win over Manchester City. Chelsea finished the 2020-21 season fourth in the Premier League standings and was third a season ago.

But the Blues got off to a horrid start despite a massive summer transfer spend and fired Tuchel — the recently appointed Bayern Munich manager in place of Nagelsmann — in September. Chelsea then hired Potter to replace Tuchel, but the team has had a flabbergasting inability to score. Chelsea has just 29 league goals in 29 games. League leaders Arsenal have scored 70 and Manchester City has scored 71.

Being a manager at Chelsea has not been a long-term proposition recently. Thirteen different interim and permanent managers across 14 stints have now been in charge of the team since 2010. And the managerial upheaval has continued despite new ownership.

Chelsea was sold to Boehly’s ownership group in the spring of 2022 after Roman Abramovich was forced to sell the team after owning the club for 19 years.