Ex-Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley says Brendan Rodgers is the best candidate for the top job at Stamford Bridge ahead of Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel as pressure continues to build on Frank Lampard. Lampard is now midway through his second season in charge at Chelsea, which has so far been a huge disappointment for a fanbase that had initially been excited to see a club legend bring together a new pool of talent worth over £200 million ($274m).
Chelsea spent big to secure deals for Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, and Edouard Mendy in the summer transfer window, while also managing to pick up Brazilian defender Thiago Silva on a free transfer.
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Unfortunately, only Silva has managed to live up to expectations in blue so far, with the rest of the new recruits all having struggled for form and fitness as Lampard has toiled in vain to find a winning formula.
A 2-0 defeat at Leicester on Tuesday saw Chelsea drop to eighth in the Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool having played a game more. That reversal marked the west London outfit’s fifth loss in their last eight matches, and it has been suggested that Lampard could face the ax if he fails to oversee a swift turnaround in fortunes over the next few weeks.
Recently sacked PSG boss Tuchel and former Juventus tactician Allegri have both been strongly linked with his position, but Burley would prefer to see his old club turn to a man who has worked wonders at Leicester if they decide to make a change in the dugout. “Allegri is known for pragmatism. There is nothing wrong with that, but Abramovich has always tried to get away from that. He had enough of it under [Jose] Mourinho,” The former Blues star told ESPN.
“I’m not a Thomas Tuchel fan. He’s done a decent job at [Borussia] Dortmund and PSG but I’m not on the Thomas Tuchel train. “I look at Brendan Rodgers as, at least, the third-best coach in the Premier League. “Is there anybody better [except Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola]? No, not even close.”
Rodgers guided Leicester to a fifth-place Premier League finish last term and they look like genuine title contenders this time around, with the likes of Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, and Harvey Barnes leading their charge.
The 47-year-old coached Chelsea’s academy side at the start of his managerial career before going on to take in spells at Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool, and Celtic, with Burley of the opinion that he ticks all the right boxes to succeed Lampard at the Bridge.“He’s [also] worked at Chelsea before with the younger kids,” he added.
“Would Rodgers have more understanding of what he wants [with the Chelsea squad] because of his experience [compared to Lampard]? Yes, he would.”