Chelsea finally revealed one of the worst kept secrets of the summer so far as they unveiled club legend Frank Lampard as new head coach. It’s been common knowledge for a good couple of weeks that Lampard would be leaving his post at Derby County to replace departing Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea boss. With just one season of second tier managerial experience under his belt many will claim that Lampard’s dream job as a coach has come far too early and they might be right.
However, a perfect storm of events has hastened Lampard’s arrival as Chelsea boss, Juventus’ swoop for departing Sarri came in the midst of an imminent two window transfer ban for the club which naturally meant that the board has gravitated to finally utilising the club’s youthful streak of players. An enthusiastic young manager managing tomorrow’s potential stars makes sense, for a club that often doesn’t make a great deal of sense at times. Of course it won’t just be youth on Lampard’s side but the entire Chelsea faithful after his renowned career as a player at Stamford Bridge where he holds the record for most goals ever for the club.
As stated above Lampard’s appointment may seem extremely premature, though in truth it was probably the best option for Roman Abramovich as not many top class managers would fancy the infamous chopping block that is the Chelsea job without the ability to buy players who could potentially save their skin. Oh and Eden Hazard has just left. So the timing could actually work out to be pretty decent for both Lampard and the club he will now lead. The progress of the likes of Callum Hudson Odoi and Ruben Loftus Cheek should be solidified under Lampard and his number two Jody Morris, who returns to the club after leaving his role as youth team manager to aide Lampard at Derby last season.
Many will not know of Morris’ impact as a coach however was extremely well liked and respected at the club during his time working with club’s youngsters and with the focus now on youth, Morris’s return to the club could prove to be just as important as Lampard’s. This fairly sudden switch to utilising the almost endless resource of young footballers that Chelsea possess could see the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James feature in the first eleven next season which might excite both Chelsea fans and their rivals.
Many who support the West London club desire a more stable approach to breed the type of success that Chelsea have enjoyed since 2004. Despite the club doing incredibly well with its revolving door policy when it comes to managers, the majority of Chelsea fans feel that that particular culture is running out of legs (and no doubt managers!). Lampard’s appointment in some senses, with a focus on youth, points to towards a longer term approach to things however it remains to be seen if anything has really changed at Stamford Bridge in regard to patience with man in charge of first team matters.
Lampard’s potential success as boss will likely correlate with the expectations placed upon him by the board. Fans will almost certainly have much more patience with him than they have done with some managers of recent times however you wonder if Lampard will be given a full season to implement his own methods to what will likely be one of the most inexperienced first elevens in Chelsea Abramovich era history. A pragmatist would say that after winning the Europa League last season and gaining Champions League football through the league that Chelsea’s board may well accept a rebuilding season that bears no silver lined fruit yet many will scoff at the notion that Chelsea as a club will be patient if Lampard struggles in his first season in charge.
In his first press conference as Chelsea boss, a measured Lampard was asked if he would seek advice from Chelsea managers of old however he would perhaps be better served to seek advice from one of his top six rival bosses in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer who has already endured a rollercoaster of a time in little over half a year as United boss. You imagine that much like at United under Solskjaer, it won’t be smooth sailing for Lampard at Chelsea however if he is given the chance to ride out an inevitable storm he could prove the doubters wrong and build something truly special at the club he loves. Or the board could get bored of him by February. You really do just never know when it comes to Chelsea Football Club.
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