Paul Merson was sceptical over the options Chelsea could bring in if they were to relieve Frank Lampard of his duties.

In his column for Sky Sports, Merson considered the candidates Chelsea might be weighing up were they lose to Fulham in their next fixture.

Lampard has already faced scrutiny following the defeat to Manchester City, and he responded by a selecting a stronger line-up than expected at home to Morecambe in the FA Cup.

Chelsea v Morecambe: FA Cup Third Round
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea reacts during the FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Morecambe at Stamford Bridge on January 10, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Despite the largely comfortable 4-0 win over the Shrimps boosting some confidence around Stamford Bridge, Chelsea need to improve their Premier League form if they are to ensure their manager’s safety.

Merson was quick to question the Blues mindset if they did relinquish Lampard’s services and was cynical over his potential replacements.

“If Chelsea don’t beat Fulham, should they sack Frank Lampard? It depends what Chelsea want this year.

“It’s alright saying: ‘Let’s get rid of Frank’ but who comes in? Do they go back in for Rafa Benitez? If you’re going to bring in Andriy Shevchenko, what’s the difference?”

“It’s the same as Lampard, he hasn’t managed world-class players, and will need time.”  

Shevchenko’s name arose after Le10Sport suggested Chelsea were willing to trade one ex-employee for another.  


The Ukrainian’s impact in South West London was rather ordinary to that of Lampard, however he still has connections in the capital, his son educated in Chelsea’s academy.

He is presently in charge of the Ukrainian national team, Shevchenko’s first step into senior management, guiding his country to European Championship qualification in some style.

Ukraine v Germany - UEFA Nations League
KYIV, UKRAINE – OCTOBER 10: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Andriy Yarmolenko of Ukraine and Antonio Ruediger of Germany battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Ukraine and Germany at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

And although the Ballon d’Or winner has a glittering playing CV, Merson doubted if he could achieve anything alternatively in the job than Lampard has currently.

The former Arsenal midfielder insisted the Blues needed a permanent plan of action, whether that be under Lampard or elsewhere, continuing, “It’s not like you can bring in a Carlo Ancelotti for a quick fix.

“Sooner or later, there has to be a plan at Chelsea. You can’t spend £200m and think you’re going to win the league, it doesn’t work like that.”

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I would echo the uncertainty in Merson’s words. Surely substituting one fledgling coach for another isn’t the answer?

If that was the plan, then Chelsea must show faith in Lampard for as long as possible. I see no harm in bringing Shevchenko on as part of the staff, but that should be as far as his inclusion goes.

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