Frank Lampard, the right job at the right time?

Frank Lampard returned to the club that he made his name at as an English footballing legend this summer, this time as a hopeful, promising young coach.

The former England international and Blues midfielder was previously in charge of Championship club Derby County, with that having been his maiden venture into the world of football management.

Despite such a lack of experience, particularly at the top level of the spectrum, Lampard was snapped up this summer by Chelsea. He signed a long-term deal to become head coach and is now aiming to oversee a strong first season in the Stamford Bridge dugout as boss.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are currently regarded as the favourites to retain their Premier League crown, with Betfair holding them as huge favourites in their football tips here at https://betting.betfair.com/football/premier-league/. But could Chelsea be in with a shout of dethroning them come next May?

Frank Lampard saluting the crowd by Ben Sutherland (CC BY 2.0)

Lampard will be confident of doing exactly that and it would be a truly remarkable achievement if the inexperienced new manager was to guide the Blues to their first Premier League title triumph since 2017.

The now 41-year-old, who retired from playing back in 2016 after a brief stint with MLS club New York City, joins the likes of Steven Gerrard, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, most recently, Wayne Rooney in turning to professional football management after successful careers on the pitch. Others who tried their hands at management can be seen here at https://www.planetfootball.com/quick-reads/.

But can he avoid the usual and frustrating ending that typically awaits new Chelsea managers?

Lampard only began his coaching career last year with the Rams and guided them to The Championship play-offs final, only to be beaten by eventual victors Aston Villa. So, he lacks the vast experience held by past coaches to have taken up the hot-seat at The Bridge.

Italian coach Maurizio Sarri was the last man to take charge before Lampard and he ended his tenure there after winning the Europa League last season. He followed compatriot Antonio Conte and Guus Hiddink before him, while the likes of Steve Holland, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez and Roberto Di Matteo all tried and failed to keep long-term roles at the club. A full list of the past club coaches can be viewed here at https://www.soccerbase.com/teams/.

Most of those names did claim silverware success though and yet, still, were sent packing at some point. Can Lampard avoid such a dismal fate? He is a club legend after all but that doesn’t matter when it comes to Chelsea business and managerial matters, based on their past moves.

Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cup crowns, two League Cups and both the Champions League and Europa League during his plays days with the Blues. He is still also Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer with 211 strikes across 13 years at the club.

Such merits have seen him hailed as a true club legend but he will hope to avoid diminishing that strong stature within his familiar surroundings when he begins the new season on the sidelines rather than on the pitch in London.