There’s no denying Frank Lampard’s status as a Chelsea legend. His 211 goals make him the club’s all time leading goalscorer, as he won it all in a trophy laden career. Now at Derby County, he has been heavily tipped for a return to Stamford Bridge as manager.
While they remain mere rumours at present, it could certainly happen. With Maurizio Sarri gone and the manager’s job once again vacant, Lampard looks to be the frontrunner in taking the job. Tipped to take over any moment now, the time may have arrived for Frank.
Lampard’s possible appointment is a fascinating one, as there seem to be more arguments supporting and contradicting it than any other recent Chelsea manager. He comes off the back of a wonderful season at Derby County, where the Rams reached the Championship play-off final.
To make so much progress and achieve something so impressive in your first season deserves plaudit, but to do it in your first season of management is another thing. Lampard has been great at Derby, bringing them within touching distance of a Premier League return.
Lampard also knows the club inside out, as he makes up a part of Chelsea’s iconic ‘Old Guard’. His knowledge of the game and the club is crucial, as he understands the ethos and expectations of Chelsea Football Club, having only left five years ago.
With the club in a difficult situation, there’s no denying the importance of the youth setup and loan players in the immediate future. With more and more demand for academy products to be given a chance at Chelsea, Lampard’s integration of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori into his Derby setup not only shows a willingness to utilise the youth, but an ability to do so.
On the other hand, my biggest concern about Lampard taking over is his extreme lack of experience. One season as a manager is a good start, but surely that is not enough to go straight in and manage at Chelsea. He has footballing experience but none in management, and that could truly prove costly.
If Lampard took the job in five years having managed elsewhere in between, I would have no complaints. But you have to honestly ask whether he is ready, and whether both Lampard and Chelsea are better off waiting a couple of years before this appointment.
In one regard, his legend status may be enough to get him the job. Whether Roman Abramovich will sweeten enough to Lampard to give him the coveted managerial job is unknown, but it would be the biggest game of Russian roulette that Abramovich has played.
It is a huge gamble, certainly the biggest one that Chelsea have faced in years. Lampard’s status at the club could be severely damaged should his managerial tenure go wrong, yet that seems very unlucky due to the affectionate feeling for him from the Stamford Bridge faithful.
What may prove to be decisive in Lampard’s appointment is the lack of choice. When looking at the other managers who have been tipped to take over from Sarri, none of them seem at all likely.
José Mourinho will not return for a third spell, Massimiliano Allegri is taking a year out of management and Erik ten Hag just extended his Ajax contract for another three years. If it is going to be anyone, it will be Frank.
Both Lampard and Abramovich have big decisions to make, ones which will drastically determine their futures as well as the club. With Lampard’s appointment seemingly approaching, it may just be a matter of time before a Chelsea legend is at the helm.