After weeks of speculation, Chelsea have finally confirmed Frank Lampard as the club’s new manager – but is their all-time record goalscorer the right man to replace Maurizio Sarri?
The former England midfielder is the 10th full-time manager appointed by Roman Abramovich since he bought the club in 2003 and the club have opted for a new direction in going with a younger, less experienced boss.
Admittedly, Andre Villas-Boas was in his 30s when he took charge of Chelsea but he had already claimed a treble – including the Europa League – with Porto before his move to Stamford Bridge. Roberto Di Matteo was also handed a chance despite being relatively inexperienced, but the previous year he had landed the Champions League as interim boss.
Lampard comes into the role after just one season with Derby in the Championship, where he enjoyed modest success in getting the Rams to the play-off final only to lose out to Aston Villa.
Since the Abramovich era began, Chelsea hasn’t been a club where managers are afforded a learning curve but Lampard could well be given time, even if results in the first few weeks fall below expectations.
Chelsea are under a transfer embargo and are appealing – but they won’t be able to sign any further players this summer so Lampard will have to go forward with what he’s got. The 41-year-old managed to get the best out of Derby’s youngsters last season, including Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori while they were on loan from Chelsea, and will need to make use of the Blues academy in the Premier League 2019/20 season.
It remains to be seen as to whether or not Lampard’s appointment will work out in the long-term but right now he may well have been the perfect fit for the job. The club legend will bring a feel-good factor back to Stamford Bridge after Sarri failed to truly win over the fans, while the fact Chelsea are working under a transfer ban means he should be given time to implement his own ideas rather than be expected to hit the ground running.