'Abramovich is BRUTAL & effective, but Lampard deserved more time': Ex-Chelsea 'keeper Mark Bosnich to RT Sport (VIDEO)
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wasn't right to sack Frank Lampard and should have given him more time in the job, but his ruthless methods have been unquestionably successful - that's the view of former Blues 'keeper Mark Bosnich.
Chelsea legend Lampard was relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge on Monday with the club languishing in 9th place in the Premier League. Owner Abramovich reasoned in a statement that "under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers".
Former PSG coach Thomas Tuchel was immediately appointed to take charge, which means Chelsea have now employed five different managers in just over five years, with varying success, since Jose Mourinho's second stint with the club ended in December 2015.
Bosnich, who formed a close relationship with Lampard during his time at the club in the early 2000s, and who he reckons as perhaps Chelsea's greatest ever player, says he believes the club's all-time highest scorer should have been given an extended period to steady the ship, but told RT Sport that while he was "disappointed" it is hard to argue with Chelsea's success rate with Abramovich at the helm.
"I must confess I'm biased because I was obviously very close to him for the time that I was at Chelsea all those years ago. I don't think it was the right decision," Bosnich, who played for the West London club between 2000 and 2003, said.
"It didn't shock me, just disappointed. I just feel as though he’s the club's greatest ever player and the fact that he'd done an outstanding job last season to get them into the Champions League when they had the transfer ban and they'd lost Eden Hazard. The progress that he'd made this year, I thought afforded him more time.
🗣 Abramovich is BRUTAL and effective, but Lampard deserved more time - Ex Chelsea keeper Mark Bosnich @TheRealBozza talks to RT's @dannywarmstrong#CFC#Chelsea#Abramovich| FULL ARTICLE ON https://t.co/NWwNsxviz3 | pic.twitter.com/y68G7E4t2W— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) January 30, 2021
"Now let's talk about the Roman Abramovich era from 2003, they've won more trophies than any other club in England. So you can't really complain about that model. I'm saying, I don't think it was the right way to go with Frank, due to the fact mainly of those two reasons that I just said.
"Legendary player or not, doesn't matter, you gotta be able to manage. And the fact that he got them into the top four last season when nobody expected, I do believe afforded more time. He would have done the same again this season. They're into the Champions League last 16 and they're still in the FA cup. And like I said, I could see as an ex-football person, I could see exactly what he was trying to do.
"And I can also see at this moment in time, he wasn't going through the greatest of times I'll forget, 5th of December - it was only about a month and a half ago - he was top of the table. Tuchel has come in and Tuchel is an outstanding young manager. No doubt about that. He's got a wonderful reputation if you talk to people which I have done who've known him or worked with him from a tactical perspective, there's no doubt about that.
"But he's untried in England and it's going to be a major shock for him, some of the situations that he'll encounter. I wish him all the best and I hope he does well, but like I said, it's just hard not to be disappointed about the way that Frank came to his demise."
Tuchel takes up the hotseat at the Bridge having taken PSG to the Champions League final last season, but his coaching career has been characterized by fractious relationships with the hierarchy and personnel of the club's at which he has managed.
The 47-year-old will most likely be answering to Abramovich's trusted aides at the club such as director and power broker Marina Granovskaia as the Russian billionaire does not currently reside in London, having faced UK visa issues since 2018, which Bosnich believes may have weakened his influence but will work in Tuchel's favour given his temperament.
"Roman Abramovich’s influence is huge and has been huge. But I'm not so sure that it is as great as it was when he was residing in London next to the club," he said.
"He's obviously not residing there for other reasons. He's left his trusted people in charge and I'm not so sure when I say his influence; obviously the final decision is his - and so there's no doubt about that - we know that, but it's more than based on informed opinions from his trusted lieutenants.
"So I think that although he is the boss and we know that. Let's not forget as well. And it must be said, I think he's done a fantastic job for English football in general. When he came, what he did, the amount of money that he spent and right now, and then this is obviously a different conversation, I don't think that he will be feeling as though that the appreciation is a two-way street, which I can completely understand. But in terms of the Tuchel situation, we know he'll be dealing with Marina Granovskaia.Also on rt.com ‘He‘s a man who gets things done’: Chelsea's Lampard speaks out on ‘ambitious, rich, RUTHLESS’ Abramovich and sidekick Granovskaia
"Right now after what's happened with Frank Lampard, ironically enough it'll be Tuchel’s most powerful time because if he wants to have some clashes and all that, I'm quite certain, unless he really does go over the line, which I don't think he will do, his chips and his stakes if you like that he has, the chips that people have in him, it will be at an all time high."
Despite a model of business dealings that have seen a string of ruthless backroom decisions and personnel changes, since arriving in the capital in 2003, Abramovich's tenure which has yielded 16 major trophies including five Premier League titles and the 2012 UEFA Champions League.
Fans have since protested Lampard's sacking, tying a banner with the message 'Circus continues' onto the Stamford Bridge gate, and the decision was criticised by senior football figures, including pundit and former player Gary Lineker.
Bosnich believes the sheer volume of success under Abramovich will serve as justification in the eyes of Chelsea board members, despite also subscribing to the opinion Lampard's dismissal came too quickly.
"Chelsea will always turn around and point out the fact that since the Abramovich era began in 2003, they’ve won more trophies than any other club in England," he said.
"So they, and rightly so, they'll turn around and say ‘our system works for us’. In terms of other clubs we've seen the faith that Liverpool had in Klopp. If you look at Klopp’s record as opposed to Frank Lampard’s over a similar period, it's not too dissimilar.
"I’m telling you now that any person who’s associated with this decision at Chelsea will always come back at you, and rightly so, they have every right to say, ‘look, this has worked for us. Look, here's the evidence and we'll work in the future’. But I just said, like I said, because of the fact that he was their greatest player, I just would have thought in this instance, I would've say, ‘okay, you know what, just for Frank, we'll make this exception’."