Chelsea have appointed former midfielder Frank Lampard as their head coach. The 41-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Blues.
Lampard’s potential appointment as Chelsea boss was probably the worst kept secret in the Premier League this summer. The Blues paid £4million compensation to Derby to nab the services of Lampard. His assistant at Derby, another ex-Chelsea player Jody Morris will fulfil the same role at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard replaces Sarri
Chelsea did not take long to replace the outgoing experienced boss Maurizio Sarri, who joined Italian champions Juventus after guiding the Blues to third-place in the Premier League last season.
Lampard is a complete contrast in terms of experience to his predecessor. In fact, the former England midfielder has had just one year as a boss. He guided Derby to the Championship play-offs, but the Rams had been one of the teams fancied for promotion anyway.
The team from the Midlands had been in and around those play-off and promotion spots for the last few seasons. His performance as Derby boss was not great but it was not terrible either.
His appointment is a gamble
Reportedly Chelsea are attempting to bring players into the club’s backroom staff who experienced success in the past with the Blues. Petr Cech recently returned to the club in the role of Technical and Performance Advisor earlier this summer after he retired from playing.
The return of the Blues record goalscorer in Lampard is another step to the Chelsea hierarchy getting a link to the club’s former successful teams. Despite his great experience of playing and his love of the club, Lampard’s appointment is a gamble for Chelsea and Lampard himself.
The opportunity to manage his former club has no doubt came much sooner in his managerial career than the 41-year-old would have imagined. Most bosses are not handed the Chelsea job after a year in management. If the Blues had appointed anybody but a former club legend as a boss after just one year of experience, then people would have called them crazy. On paper, his managerial record with Derby was not much better than his predecessors.
However, the fact of it is, he is Frank Lampard and loved at the club. Just because he is loved at the club does not mean he will be a success as the head coach, though.
For the Chelsea hierarchy, I believe this is a free hit. The Blues are banned from bringing in new players for two windows, so need somebody who knows the club and is a safe pair of hands. Why not Lampard eh? If he is a success then it will be great for the club. If he struggles, then at least they will have a chance to sign players next summer and bring in a new coach, calling the Lampard appointment a gamble.
Chelsea still one of the favourites for the top-four
Despite the loss of Sarri, Eden Hazard and a transfer ban, Chelsea are still among the four favourites to finish in the Champions League spots next season. It is uncertain what the club’s hierarchy’s targets are for such a difficult campaign.
Lampard may prove his managerial acumen at Stamford Bridge, especially with the young players as he did at Derby. However, the big question will Blues owner Roman Abramovich allow the Chelsea legend enough time to be successful. I suspect he will get a bit more time as a Chelsea legend. With so many problems at the club, he may well just be the boss that the Blues needs to stay in the top-four next season.
Is Frank Lampard a good appointment for Chelsea?