There are growing parallels between the situation Chelsea found themselves in last season, and the one Manchester United are in now.
The Londoners hired club legend Frank Lampard in the summer of 2019, despite his relative inexperience as a coach - he’d only managed Derby County for 12 months in the campaign prior.
In a similar fashion to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, fears centred around a lack of experience were eased after a strong initial run of results. In fact, his first full campaign in charge saw Chelsea secure both a top-four finish and reach the FA Cup final.
It was hoped that campaign would act as a springboard for Chelsea to mount a title challenge last season, especially after the club invested heavily in the market that summer.
Again this represents somewhat of an eerie likeness to United’s summer and their subsequent ambitions coming into this campaign.
That following season started well for Lampard, better than what it has for United so far this year under Solskjaer, though it wasn’t long before things began to turn sour.
They topped the Premier League and their Champions League group by early December, however underlying numbers raised red flags and an inevitable capitulation followed soon after.
Chelsea went on a run of just two wins from eight league matches and dropped as low as ninth in the table, putting the club’s hierarchy in the uncomfortable situation that United find themselves in now with Solskjaer.
They clearly knew given the quality throughout the squad that the club was massively underachieving, yet Lampard was a popular figure and a legend at Stamford Bridge.
Ultimately though, emotion was shelved and Lampard was dismissed at the end of January 2021, replaced by Thomas Tuchel shortly after.
Put bluntly, Tuchel’s experience and ability dwarfed that of Lampard, and his impact on the squad was almost instantaneous.
Chelsea climbed the table, eventually finishing fourth, and of course famously went on to lift the Champions League, defeating Manchester City in June.
And the chart below captures just how much more Tuchel was able to improve what was the same group of players who’d struggled under Lampard just several months earlier.
Across the same number of matches in charge, there was a huge increase in Chelsea’s output in terms of both goals scored and quality of chances created (xG).
It was a similar story at the other end of the pitch too, with reductions to both the number of goals the Blues conceded, and the quality of chances they allowed on their goal (xGA).
Whilst things seem pretty bleak right now at Old Trafford, there’s no denying that the squad on paper is up there with the very best in the Premier League.
That doesn’t mean that a new top manager could come in and guarantee success on par with what Tuchel achieved with Chelsea last season.
Yet you’d anticipate that at very least a new elite level manager could bring about a noticeable improvement across the team in many different departments which would bring them closer to recognising their overall potential.