Frank Lampard needs to finish in the Premier League’s top four this season or he will be sacked by Roman Abramovich, according to pundit Craig Burley.
Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal means the Blues have been beaten in three of their last four Premier League games. The result leaves them down in seventh and saw Lampard direct the blame towards his players.
Should Tottenham beat Wolves on Sunday evening, the Blues will slip to eighth.
Chelsea did beat West Ham last Monday 3-0 though the win flattered Lampard’s side.
Despite a near £250m summer transfer splurge, Chelsea are four points worse off than they were after 15 games last season.
And Burley reckons unless there’s a quick improvement, Lampard could soon find speculation mounting over his future.
“[Lampard’s] got players out of form, he’s got players that are not fully fit, and that’s a problem,” Burley said on ESPN FC.
“They have gone from looking one of the paciest, quickest sides in the Premier League, to one of the most pedestrian.
“That is a huge issue for him because you may have noticed with this owner Roman Abramovich, he doesn’t suffer inconsistency, bad results, no matter who it is.
“So let me be clear, Lampard is back on the chopping board currently as we speak.”
Mid-season Lampard sacking unlikely
Despite Chelsea’s current struggles, Burley does not believe Chelsea would axe Lampard mid-season.
“It’s turn-up time for Lampard and these players. This cut and thrust period can make and break you,” Burley added.
“I’m not suggesting Abramovich is going to sack him in the next couple of weeks. But there is one thing they need to remember – top four.
“If they don’t get in the top four, he’s probably done.
“It’s a big season for him. It looked as if it was going swimmingly and now it looks like they’re sinking a little bit. They seem to have a weight around their feet.
“He’s going to have to find the reason to put it right.”