When speaking in football circles about outlandish things that have gone on in the beautiful game, you’ll often hear people say things like, ‘these days, nothing surprises me in football anymore’. And why should it after we’ve stood witness to Sergio Aguero’s 93rd minute Premier League winner, Leicester City’s title-winning season and Liverpool’s famous European comeback against Barcelona.
However, there is one development that could manage to grab our attention again and that is Chelsea considering Frank Lampard as their next manager because that is an astonishing bit of news and reason to persist with football for just a little bit longer.
Whilst the Chelsea links are easy to understand and not in the least bit hard to fathom, it is the idea that Frank Lampard has the required tactical nous to manager the Stamford Bridge club that is truly bewildering. For goodness sake, who came up with this idea and where is the evidence to show for it?
Let’s break it down should we and see if we’re being over cynical or whether Frank is actually the new messiah.
For one, Frank has only been managing for 12 months after Derby made him their permanent manager back in the summer of 2018. Derby went on to finish sixth and qualify for the play-offs but in truth, the Rams scraped into the last play-off spot which was being contested by two other clubs, on the last day of the season.
It may be worth mentioning that if you’re a Leeds United fan reading this, the next paragraph will be tough going but you may feel a sense of relief at the end, in fact, this may be the cathartic release you needed to finally start enjoying your summer holiday. Now, where were we?
Derby would go on to beat Leeds at Elland Road and make it to Wembley despite suffering a 1-0 loss in the first-leg at Pride Park. Although, few clubs in the country do implosions like Leeds United and really, it was more them handing the game to Derby, rather than the Rams winning it. Kiko Casilla’s performance in goal for Leeds – although that may be a stretch as he spent most of the time out of his box – was the ultimate reason for the defeat.
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) May 27, 2019
Up until the play-offs, Leeds had accumulated a whopping 6-1 aggregate against Derby. Oh no, Frank Lampard’s Derby County didn’t know how to beat Marcelo Bielsa’s men, but that didn’t stop Leeds United finding a way to lose.
Derby’s celebrations at Elland Road made Manchester United’s at the Nou Camp back in 1999 after winning the treble look quite muted. It all goes to show, there is no suppressed anger than that of a man who has been the butt of an Oasis Song telling him to stop crying.
Next up were Aston Villa who had accumulated a 7-0 aggregate against the Rams during the 2018/2019 Championship season, which if you were to add what Leeds did to Derby over the course of the season, you would find Derby let in a collective 13 goals and only managed one in return.
To very little surprise, Villa would win and Derby would be resigned to another 46 games in the Championship but there’s now doubt as to whether Lampard will be in the hot seat for the upcoming campaign where they are at 16/1 to win the league in Championship betting. Those odds suggest the austerity at Pride Park, something the Conservatives would marvel at, could continue but if Lampard were to move to Chelsea, he would have even less to spend as the Blues start their 12-month transfer embargo.
Of course, one day Frank Lampard may well become a decent manager but right now, he is far from proven. For instance, let’s imagine Chelsea were linked with Norwich boss Daniel Farke, there would be an outcry in South West London.
Well, Farke’s Norwich finished a massive 20 points above Derby with arguably a worse squad, so why does it now make sense to make Lampard Chelsea’s manager? You shouldn’t take any notice of Rio Ferdinand thinking it does as his judgment with regards to managers being successful leaves a lot to be desired. Please see the clip of him waxing lyrical about Ole Gunnar Solksjear by saying ‘Manchester United are back’, before going on to win only two of their next 11 games.
4 – Frank Lampard’s joint-biggest win in English club football as a player was against Aston Villa in December 2012 (8-0) – now his largest defeat as a manager is also against Aston Villa (0-4). Payback. pic.twitter.com/JwTUjMaJqt
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 2, 2019
Frank spent the season being taken to school by craftier managers in the Championship and still has a long education ahead of him before he can justify being given the job of a top-six club in the Premier League. Naturally, this all means he will be made the new Chelsea boss by July which must prompt the question, can a team be mathematically relegated by Christmas?