Chelsea bosses expect to be “the first manager who is going to get sacked” and Frank Lampard will be no different now that he is out of “wiggle room”, says Tony Cascarino.
A club legend from his playing days at Stamford Bridge is approaching the start of his second season as head coach in west London.
His debut campaign delivered a top-four finish, FA Cup final appearance and plenty of promise from an exciting young squad.
Roman Abramovich has, however, bankrolled another elaborate spending spree in the current transfer window and expectations are rising as a result.
Many of Lampard’s predecessors paid the price for failing to deliver on ultimate targets – with plenty landing major silverware along the way – and the pressure is on for a man filling the warmest of hot seats.
“Frank will be totally aware of the pressure, but that comes with every Chelsea manger,” former Blues striker Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“If you become Chelsea manager you know you’re probably the first manager who is going to get sacked.
“Watford fans might tell you different, but generally, Chelsea sack managers that have done far more in terms of winning than Frank. OK, not under the same circumstances as Lampard, but he will be totally aware of it.
“Will he get more time because he’s a legend? No, not now the wiggle room has gone.
“Look at the CV of the owner and the DNA of how he’s run that football club, you’re not going to get away with it.
“Him being an ex-Chelsea player and the work he’s done in bringing the youngsters through to the first team, it’ll count for nothing.
“He will be tested and if Chelsea don’t defend better than they did last year, they are not going to challenge.”
Cascarino has taken to sounding warning shots in Lampard’s direction on a regular basis of late, with the former frontman having already stated that a change in the dugout will be made if Chelsea suffer a repeat of their inconsistency from 2019-20.
He said: “Frank will be fully aware that him getting that investment means there’s a different challenge now.
“He will know the expectation won’t just be qualifying for Champions League football. That was the expectation last summer, and if they managed it with a transfer embargo then it’s a bonus.
“But that’s not the challenge now. Now it’s guaranteed top four, but really they’re giving him the finds to challenge for the top two.
“With that sort of spending you can’t lose 17 games. Chelsea lost 17 games last season, they had a goals against column that was dreadful.
“They lost in the FA Cup final to Arsenal, and Frank would have had a conversation with the powers that be about how they can challenge Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal.
“That brings more pressure and Frank will know that, but if he doesn’t reach their expectations and goals then he’s not going to be manager of Chelsea next year.
“If they lose 17 games in a season he won’t be Chelsea manager.”