Frank Lampard has been warned he will face the sack if he can’t turn Chelsea into Premier League title contenders after their summer spending spree.
Tony Cascarino has told talkSPORT the Blues legend will not be safe from Roman Abramovich’s ruthless axe if he can’t fulfil the club’s expectations after a busy transfer window.
Lampard has been given cash to splash this summer, building an impressive new-look squad with the arrivals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell for a combined £131.3m.
He’s also looked to rectify the team’s dreadful defensive record with the free transfers of Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain and 21-year-old centre-back Malang Sarr from Nice.
More arrivals are expected, with the Blues reportedly close to landing German wonderkid Kai Havertz for around £90m, while Lampard remains keen on signing England international Declan Rice from former club West Ham before the transfer window closes.
Those remaining two deals would push Chelsea’s spending to above £250m, and Cascarino insists the spree will only increase the pressure on Lampard to get results.
Lampard exceeded expectations by sneaking Chelsea into a top-four finish and Champions League qualification in his first season in charge.
But the expectations on the boss will be very different in his second campaign after being given a huge war chest to improve the team.
And Cascarino believes Lampard may not be Chelsea manager next year if the Blues aren’t challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for a place in the Premier League’s top-two.
“Frank will be fully aware that him getting that investment means there’s a different challenge now,” the former Blues striker said on the Weekend Sports Breakfast.
“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 opened the Premier League campaign by losing 4-0 at Man United, they conceded four against Ajax, they took a few hammerings against Bayern Munich home and away and lost 5-3 against Liverpool, where they were conceding goals for fun and looked all over the place.
“The 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.”