Chelsea start life without Frank Lampard in the dugout on Wednesday when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
A 2-1 defeat to the West Midlands outfit back in December was the start of a downward spiral for Lampard, who was relieved of his duties on Monday morning.
The Stamford Bridge hotseat has claimed yet another victim of the ruthless Roman Abramovich era, and not even Lampard’s legendary status at the club could prevent him from losing his job after a dismal spell of results.
Chelsea are never far away from the centre of controversy when their managers’ generally short tenures come to an end, and despite suffering five defeats in his final eight Premier League matches with the Blues, a large portion of the Chelsea fanbase clearly feel that Lampard should have been given more time to work his philosophy at Stamford Bridge.
However, reports of some Chelsea players complaining about the Englishman’s tactics would have done him no favours amid the Blues’ underwhelming run, and Abramovich is supposedly set to welcome former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel to the capital in the coming days.
Whether or not the German will be appointed in time to take charge against Wolves remains to be seen, but having lost his job at PSG while propelling the French champions back up the table, he will certainly be aware of the mammoth task facing him in this equally unforgiving role.
The Blues eased to a 3-1 victory over Luton Town in the FA Cup as Lampard bowed out with a win, but with five points separating ninth-placed Chelsea from the top four, they cannot afford to mourn the loss of Lampard whatsoever as Wolves look to turn their own fortunes around.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s job in the Molineux dugout is not thought to be entirely safe either, with the visitors now without a win in the Premier League since that December victory over Chelsea.
Santo has since overseen four defeats and two draws from their six most recent Premier League matches, and having been expected to challenge for a European spot again this season, Wolves are now edging ever closer towards the danger zone.
Liverpool are the only other team in the top 15 without a win in their last five matches, with the absence of Raul Jimenez having an everlasting effect on Santo’s side, although the loan acquisition of Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose should help them on the attacking front.
The visitors also advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup on Friday, but they were far from convincing against non-league side Chorley, and it took a wonder strike from Vitinha to separate the two clubs.
As mentioned, Wolves came out on top in a dramatic 2-1 triumph earlier in the season thanks to Pedro Neto’s last-gasp winner, but Chelsea won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last term and the visitors are without a clean sheet in 12 top-flight matches.