Why Chelsea boss Frank Lampard should be worried about beating Arsenal in FA Cup final

Chelsea take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final tonight (5.30pm kick-off) as both Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta look to win their first trophies in charge of their respective clubs.

The two London teams go head-to-head at Wembley with Arsenal seeking a 14th FA Cup triumph and their first since 2017, when they beat Chelsea.

While the Blues are looking to get one over the Gunners in another cup final having beaten them in the Europa League showpiece last term and win the FA Cup for the second time in three years.

Yet there is good reason for both managers – but particularly Lampard – to be wary if their side is victorious this evening.

Close to one in five FA Cup triumphs since 1998 has resulted in the manager of the winning team losing his job during the following season.

Statistics from Bet O’Clock, looking at trophy wins in the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield between 1997-98 and 2018-19 have shown Chelsea have been the most ruthless with managers who have won silverware.

They have dismissed winners of nine trophies in the past 20 years – including Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo and Premier League and FA Cup winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri have also been unceremoniously dumped in more recent years after winning the FA Cup in 2018 and the Europa League last term.

A spokesperson for Bet O’Clock said: “The common joke that the FA Cup is cursed appears to be backed up by the stats, although there are shockingly high rates of post-trophy managerial departures across the board.

“Lampard and Arteta will of course be putting everything they’ve got into the FA Cup final on Saturday, but whichever manager succeeds should enjoy the sweet taste of success before it turns bitter – because our data tells us he might not be around for long afterwards.”

As many as a third of trophy-winning coaches were not in the same job by the end of the next season, Bet O’Clock’s research found.

Chelsea are particularly ruthless with managers but that is something Lampard is already well aware of.

The club’s all-time top goalscorer worked under Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Ancelotti, Andre Villas Boas, Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez and Mourinho again as a player.

That was inside a spell of just 13 years, while rivals Arsenal were managed by Arsene Wenger and Manchester United were led only by Sir Alex Ferguson throughout the same period.

But his approach to the summer transfer market shows that he knows improvement will be expected in his second year.

With the Londoners having enjoyed huge success across the past 16 years, winning 16 major trophies despite their hire-and-fire strategy, the pressure is on Lampard to begin bridging the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City.

He came good in his first campaign, meeting the target of a top-four finish despite having no real opportunity to sign players until this summer after a transfer ban.

And having spent around £80million on Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, expectation levels are increasing for next season – with Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell among those who could follow the pair into Stamford Bridge.

The 42-year-old will be keen to put more credit in the bank by winning the FA Cup – although underperforming badly next season could see his job put at risk, and he must eat a fair chunk into the 33-point gap separating them and champions Liverpool.

His status as a club legend will certainly buy him more time with the club’s fanbase than his predecessors though and it appears Chelsea are keen to give Lampard all the support he needs, making any departure in the next 12 months unlikely unless the Londoners crash and burn next term.

Arteta too will be wary of the sack rate for FA Cup-winning managers – although expectations for next season at Arsenal are far lower than at Chelsea with the Spaniard set to be given plenty of patience to turn things around.

Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League this term, their lowest finish since 1994-95, and are in a state of disrepair despite reaching the FA Cup final.

There have been encouraging signs under Arteta, such as wins over Liverpool and Manchester City last month, and plenty to suggest he is the right man to be at the helm after the manner in which Unai Emery’s tenure crumbled.

But there is no doubt at the Emirates that it will be a long-term project if Arsenal are to get back to being a contender on the domestic and continental stages once again.

And so he will not be overly concerned about his future next season whether Arsenal are victorious in the FA Cup final or not – provided the club continue to make at least some progress on the pitch.

Yet the stats from Bet O’Clock prove that no manager is safe – even those who deliver silverware.

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