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Club legends: a new era of managers?

The past year has seen an increase of past player managerial appointments, with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and most recently Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. But how big is the risk to appoint a club legend?

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Frank Lampard is well under way in his first season in charge of Chelsea

Frank Lampard is possibly the best example of a club legend taking charge of a former club. Lampard spent 13 playing seasons at Chelsea where he totalled 648 appearances for the South London club. Lampard took charge of Derby County during the 2018/19 before returning to the capital where he was appointed as Head Coach.

At the time it was seen as a gamble as it was only Lampard’s second season in a managerial position but with England teammate Steven Gerrard taking the same role at Rangers, Chelsea were not alone in their method of appointing a new generation of managers. Lampard got off to a respectable start with their first league loss of the season coming against reigning champions Manchester City at the Ethiad. Since then, the club has seen its fair share of mixed results. Some have been reasoned poor results, such as a 3-1 loss to struggling Everton, due to the youth of the team but and possible naivety.

But can it be argued that the lines of managerial blame become blurred when the manager in question has already such an intense relationship with the club? If the team isn’t performing to a standard expected, an element of the blame is usually passed onto the manager and the way in which the manager reacts is generally a determiner of their future. As with any manager, previous club relations or not, it is up to the powers above how long they are in charge at club. It can be suggested bias may come into play if the manager is affiliated with the club, with a possible unconscious hope of wanting him to do well. Equally, it may cause discrepancy amongst fans, some may want him to do well but if a group believe he is only keeping his places due to his club history, it could cause a divide in the support.

On the other hand with some clubs of late sacking managers as if it was going out of fashion, could it be a good thing to appoint more club favourites to coaching positions? Affiliation with the club could lead to longer managerial spells if the club want the individual to succeed in a coaching role. Former players could have the opportunity to reignite old passions within the club which would reinforce its culture. This would be advantageous also because they know and understand the club and could potentially reinforce its older traditions of play which will be reason as to why a large majority of the fans have such strong connections to the club.

Respectively it is a risk to appoint a club legend, especially for a ‘big’ successful club, who could easily attract a ‘safe’ option of an experienced man. However, the risk could be beneficial if the manager is able to recreate the passion they once had for playing for the club in the form of management.

Super Frank Lampard wins Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for October

On July 4, Chelsea brought a bit of nostalgia when they appointed Frank Lampard as the new manager on a three-year contract, making him the first English manager to manage the side in 23 years.

The club legend had not donned the club’s colours since he left in 2014 for a move to league foe Manchester City – much to the chagrin of some fans who did not want to see him in any other shade of blue. After finishing his playing career in the MLS for New York City FC, Lampard served as a team captain on the ITV sport panel show Play to the Whistle, until 2017. He was also a regular for BT Sport’s football coverage as well. In 2018, he was appointed as the manager with the Championship club Derby County, which begun his managerial career.

In Lampard’s first season at the helm for the Rams, he guided the club to the final of the Championship play-offs before ultimately losing to Aston Villa 2-1. However, his tenure at Derby was short-lived once his former club were searching for a new manager. Lampard is named among the top candidates for the open position.

When Lampard arrived at Chelsea, the team had ultimately lost their best player in Eden Hazard to powerhouse Real Madrid and had a transfer ban for the upcoming season. He had to use his best with what he had – a lot of young prospects and ageing veterans. His tenure for the Blues did not get off to the best start after they were clobbered by Manchester United at Old Trafford 4-0, the biggest defeat for a debut manager for the club since Danny Blanchflower’s squad in December 1978, who lost to Middlesbrough 7-2.

However, Lampard would not let that defeat define his first managerial season for his beloved club, and the squad took off after that horrendous performance. The squad started to show signs of improvement after the loss at Old Trafford, going 4-2-3 in all competitions in August and September. But October was when Chelsea took the world by storm with several strong performances, causing him to win the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month.

The Blues had won all three of their league matches in the month of October, and this was just a sign of the improvements Lampard has made since his tenure for the club. The squad began their league play this past month cruising through Southampton with a 4-1 victory at St. Mary’s Stadium. They also had a nail-biting 1-0 win over Newcastle at home courtesy of a Marcos Alonso goal. Chelsea had finished their perfect month thanks to an astonishing performance from Christian Pulisic, whose “perfect” hat-trick led them to a 4-2 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

This season was an uncertainty for Chelsea fans, who had to deal with a transfer ban and the club hiring a manager with only one season of managerial experience under his belt. However, Super Frank has proved the doubters wrong with the choices he has made so far that has led his squad to be successful so far this season. Only time will tell if Lampard continues this success as a manager for his beloved club.

Will Frank Lampard be a success at Chelsea?

Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard has started his first season with the club where he has won; the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield with; since departing Derby County.

However, with the transfer ban the club have been given, Lampard has been unable to invest in and build his own team and so has to revert to his youngsters.

His side have been ruled out by every pundit with winning any silverware and even finishing in the top four. Lampard though, has taken it in his stride and is happy that his squad are big underdogs this year.

After a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the opening day of the season, many fans are bound to be be angry at the side, but the performance shown by the young blues did not reflect the score and with a bit more experience and time to gel together, Lampard can push his side up for a top four finish.

Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich will need to be patient with the former England International and Chelsea’s all time top goal scorer, as Lampard looks to suit the bill for bringing up the youngsters and making them work together as a proper footballing side.

It will be a difficult and frustrating season for everyone around Chelsea, but with the patience, support and encouragement by the fans; Lampard’s side can definitely move back up and challenge for the top four.

Frank Lampard has returned home

Frank Lampard has been named the new Chelsea manager on a three year deal after leaving Derby County.

The Chelsea legend has received a lot of praise while at Derby County, with Lampard leading the side to the Championship play-off final.

While at Derby, the Chelsea man brought Mason Mount on loan from Chelsea and is more then likely to hand him a contract extension.

Lampard; who made 648 appearances, scored 211 goals and won 13 trophies; will sure to take a whole new approach with a young Chelsea side.

Chelsea received a lot of criticism for shipping out young players on loan over recent years.

However, fans are now confident that Lampard could be the man to start playing the exciting young talent at Chelsea with players like Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Ethan Ampadu.

With the club having a transfer ban and a young side, it will be a difficult season for Lampard but with the fans fully behind the club legend, he has every chance of a successful season.

Lampard and Gerrard

Throughout the 2000’s the big debate for England Fans was can Gerrard and Lampard play together and who is the better player? Now with Lampard increasingly likely set to re-join Chelsea as manager from Derby County, Who does it seem Derby want to replace him as their manager? None other than Lampard’s rival and former England team mate. Ironic? But why and what will it mean for Derby, Chelsea and the men themselves.

Derby have a clear policy for whom they want as manager; someone young, up and coming and English, It seems getting as many England players from the 2000’s at the club as possible is also on their agenda they’ve already had Lampard as manager and Ashley Cole as a player. Now they want Gerrard as manager, it wouldn’t surprise me if owner Melvyn Morris approaches Salford City regarding the class of 92 taking over.

I can see why Derby are interested in Gerrard, He is doing a good job at Rangers and likes young talent, much the same as Lampard. However why would Gerrard leave Rangers for Derby? Gerrard currently has a great Job at Rangers, One where he is competing at European Level, has time on his hands to develop his squad knowing as long as he keeps in touch with Celtic his job is safe. This cannot be said of the Derby Job, they have a history of sacking managers at the first sign of slight trouble therefore putting the manager under massive pressure. I have huge respect for Gerrard from his playing days, for the record in my opinion he was a better player than Lampard and it would hurt me to see him at Derby, my advice to him would be to stay at Rangers.

What of Chelsea?

Lampard would be a good appointment given there transfer ban and we could finally see them giving younger players a chance. Chelsea have some fantastic younger players who have constantly been sent on loan but now with Lampard at the helm it is the perfect opportunity to play them. I would love to see Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi, Charly Musonda, and Kurt Zouma given the chance to impress and given that Lampard knows Masan Mount and Fikayo Tomori from Derby I would’ve thought they would be involved to. When you add Hudson-Odi, Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic to the mix this should excite Chelsea Fans.