THOMAS TUCHEL will become Chelsea’s new boss under orders to make them title contenders THIS season.
Club legend Frank Lampard was axed at 9am yesterday because the club’s board felt the team was ‘shot of confidence’.
Thomas Tuchel is set to take over at ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association
Frank Lampard was sacked by the Blues Credit: Reuters
Chelsea are ninth in the table, five points adrift of the top four and 11 behind leaders Manchester United.
Former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel is under pressure from Blues owner Roman Abramovich to produce an immediate revival and catch up with United.
He said: “It has been a huge privilege and an honour to manage Chelsea, a club that has been a big part of my life for so long.
“Firstly, I would like to thank the fans for the incredible support that I have received over the last 18 months. I hope they know what that means to me.
“When I took on this role I understood the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult time for the football club.
“I am proud of the achievements we made and I am proud of the academy players that have made their step into the first team and performed so well. They are the future of the club.
CASINO DEALS: BEST SIGN UP OFFERS TO CLAIM OVER £700
“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level.
“I want to thank Mr Abramovich, the board, players, my coaching team and everyone at the club for their hard work and dedication, especially in these challenging times.”
Blues chiefs decided to fire Lampard because they believe there is enough time left to improve on last season’s fourth place.
Abramovich and his directors want more success from their £217million outlay on new players last summer.
Lampard, 42, leaves with the lowest point-per-game record of any of the 11 bosses appointed by Abramovich since he bought the club in 2003.
The elusive Russian billionaire said: “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
“However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers. I would like to thank Frank for his work and wish him every success in the future.
“He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished.”
Kai Havertz’s struggles have been one of the key reasons for Lampard’s sackingCredit: Guardian News & Media
Roman Abramovich fired the Blues legend on MondayCredit: PA:Press Association
The failure of £62m winger Kai Havertz to settle is believed to be one of the reasons why Lampard got the bullet.
Relations between the manager and transfer guru Granovskaia and performance advisor Petr Cech had also become increasingly strained.
Club insiders stress problems throughout the squad, as it failed to produce consistently good form, was a key factor.
SunSport revealed on January 5 that Tuchel, 47, had been lined up — but the deal is slightly delayed by coronavirus and work permit issues.
Lampard has half of his £15m three-year deal left and is expected to be paid up in full.
Assistants Jody Morris and Chris Jones will leave.
Cech addressed players before training at 2pm to explain the situation and Granovskaia then spoke.
⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge