Lampard: The Best Choice for Chelsea


Chelsea begin their preparations for the new season next week with a pair of friendlies in Dublin.

The Europa League winners will face Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Wednesday July 10th. That will be followed by a meeting with St. Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park on July 13th.

The Blues will be hoping to have their managerial situation sorted out by then. The West London club are on the hunt for a new manager after Maurizio Sarri joined Juventus following just one season at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has hired some of the world's highest-profile managers during his 16-year reign with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and Antonio Conte.

But rather than repeat their old patterns with someone like Massimiliano Allegri, the Russian billionaire looks set to move in a different direction and appoint club legend Frank Lampard, which will see him become the first Englishman to take charge of the club since Glenn Hoddle in 1993.

“Frank is someone who is very professional, he focuses on details, focuses about the love he gives for Chelsea. I'm sure he will be a great manager for Chelsea.” – Claude Makelele

The former England midfielder, who spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge as a player, enjoyed an impressive first season in management last season, taking Derby County to the Championship play-off final where they were beaten by Aston Villa.

Lampard, Chelsea's greatest-ever player according to John Terry, is expected to be named the new Chelsea manager anytime now with Derby County releasing a statement on Monday morning saying that the club have excused the 41-year-old from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow discussions over a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible.

But with club talisman Eden Hazard – who was involved in the most goals in the Premier League last season – now at Real Madrid and a two-window FIFA transfer ban – meaning the club can’t even sign players in January – Lampard walks into a job at Chelsea at quite an unstable time. However, that is the very reason why appointing him makes so much sense in the current circumstances.

“He was a great player, and he is a great person. He’s only starting his managerial career now, but he has everything it takes to be a success.” – Willian

There is no doubt that Chelsea fans would be right behind this decision – myself included. Lampard’s name is always sung loudly around Stamford Bridge, so imagine what that would be like with him in the dugout.

Despite his relative lack of managerial experience, the 41-year-old is no less deserving of the Chelsea job than Pep Guardiola was at Barcelona or Zinedine Zidane when first appointed as Real Madrid’s coach. Bayern and Ajax have been making such use of significant former players for years – yet in England’s leading clubs, the policy is rare. The intelligence of footballers is often underrated by English clubs.

Although Lampard might be a newcomer to the dug-out and will be battling with some of the most highly-respected and experienced names in the management business such as Manchester City’s Guardiola, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, the Englishman knows the Premier League inside out and has learnt from some of the best in the business.

"I think it's brilliant for Frank, but also for any young English players, or players who've just finished playing, to see big teams like Chelsea giving Frank an opportunity to prove himself.” – Wayne Rooney

The arrival of Lampard with his assistant and former Chelsea U18 manager Jody Morris would definitely open a door into the first team for Chelsea’s most promising young talents. Lampard was praised for the development of Derby’s young players last season with Chelsea youngsters Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, Liverpool-owned Harry Wilson and Jayden Bogle, all impressing for the Rams.

We’ve witnessed Ajax's footballing regime allow youngsters like Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek to flourish, which has certainly paid off after the Dutch champions reached the final four in Europe’s elite competition, the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea have one of the best academies in the world, regularly dominating youth tournaments for over a decade. Yet there has been nothing to show for it. In fact, the last Chelsea academy product to make a long-term impact on the first-team was Terry.

Lampard is not afraid to put his trust in youngsters and the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Juan Familio-Castillo, and Mount and Tomori, who played under him last season, could get their chance to impress with the club facing a transfer ban preventing them from signing new players.

“He is the perfect choice. People talk about experience and what-not but what experience did Pep have when he went into Barcelona’s first team? He trained the younger kids at the club. Frank knows the club and he knows the players and the players will respect him.” – Rio Ferdinand

The Blues have, however, managed to sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid on a permanent deal as he was registered with the club last season, and luckily Christian Pulisic was signed from Borussia Dortmund in January and he’ll be seen as a replacement for Hazard.

But with captain Gary Cahill leaving the club and Gonzalo Higuain returning to Juventus after an unsuccessful loan spell, Lampard will have to look to some young talent to make the step up. He will also need to sort out the futures of the club’s forgotten men: Danny Drinkwater, Michy Batshuayi, Kurt Zouma, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata.

"He's up there with the most intelligent players so it's a natural match with Chelsea, I completely support him." – Vincent Kompany

A bond between fans and manager has certainly been lacking since Sarri arrived, and Lampard – Chelsea’s record goalscorer and Champions League-winning captain in 2012 – would have the supporters' full-throated support from day one.

Lampard is Chelsea through and through. He’s a legend! He made over 400 appearances across 13 years for the west London club and led them to some of their greatest triumphs. At Chelsea, he’s won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a UEFA Europa League title and, most importantly, a UEFA Champions League trophy. He's the club's greatest ever player.

But more important for this matter, he has the determination to be successful, and there’s no doubt he’ll work day and night trying to deliver success for the club he loves. There is no one better who could take the Stamford Bridge hot-seat than Lampard.


Written by Chadley N

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