Will Frank Lampard be a success at Chelsea?

Frank Lampard returns to Chelsea as manager

One of the worst kept secrets in football was finally confirmed on Thursday morning, with Frank Lampard returning to Stamford Bridge to replace Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager.

The 41 year-old is regarded as one of the Blues best ever players, making 648 appearances and scoring 211 goals, extraordinary figures for a midfielder which also makes him the clubs all-time record scorer.

He left back in 2014 and ever since he retired from the game he's been desperate to make his mark in the world of management, which he certainly did last season in his debut campaign with Derby County.

Lampard led to the Rams to within a whisker of the Premier League after going down 2-1 to Aston Villa in the play-off final at Wembley and many fans had hoped for him to extend his stay at Pride Park for another year, but the opportunity to return home was evidently too much to refuse.

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard almost made the perfect start to life in management with Derby, only to be beaten by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final

Moving to not just a Premier League club, but an elite club with just one year of experience in the dugout under your belt is a huge risk, especially at a club like Chelsea. The Blues have a tendency to blaze through managers so Lampard really needs to make a fast start when they face Manchester United on 11th August.

But you'd like to think if Roman Abramovich is going to afford time to any manager, then Frank is the man. He's loved by everyone at the club and he also has the small matter of a two window transfer ban to contend with, meaning he's unable to make any new signings until next summer.

This job is a huge challenge for Lampard but will he succeed?

Needs to be given time

The most important thing for Frank Lampard as he embarks on his journey as Chelsea manager is time. With just one year of managerial experience on his CV he needs to have the full support of the board and Abramovich if he's to implement his ideas and be a success.

He may know the club better than pretty much anyone but things are different in the dugout compared to on the pitch. He's going to be the man in the firing line when things aren't going well and this hasn't bode well for some of his predecessors, many of whom have faced the wrath of the Blues' trigger happy owner.

Lampard inherits a talented squad that enjoyed Europa League success last year along with securing a third placed finish in the Premier League and Champions League football, so he has plenty to work with. But his hand hasn't been helped by the clubs transfer ban which is going to make life very difficult.

Mateo Kovacic Chelsea
Matteo Kovacic is a sound addition the Chelsea midfield, but it'll be hugely frustrating watching their rivals spend big money whilst they have to sit back and wait

He's been able make on-loan Real Madrid man Matteo Kovacic's move to West London permanent but other than that, there'll be no new arrivals at Stamford Bridge until next summer. Huge news especially when you see all of Chelsea's top rivals spending big, with the likes of Tottenham (Tanguy Ndombele £65m), Manchester United (Daniel James £18m & Aaron Wan-Bissaka £50m) and Manchester City (Angelino £5.5m & Rodri £63m) already heavily active in the window.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, there was of course the departure of their best player and talisman Eden Hazard to Real Madrid (£130m) who leaves a massive hole in the Blues' frontline. His loss could prove to be catastrophic and Lampard really has his work cut out trying to replace the goals and assists lost from the Belgian's departure.

Everyone at Chelsea - the fans, board, owner - demand success and it was evident last year when midway through the season Maurizio Sarri was jeered when they were struggling. We'd like to think this won't be the case with Lampard and if the going does get tough for him, he needs support and backing.

The transfer ban and the loss of Hazard indicates that this season could be one of transition at the Bridge, something that Abarmovich needs to realise. The Russian has an excellent relationship with Lampard and he could severely damage his own with the supporters if he mistreats him.

What should Chelsea fans expect?

Lampard is universally loved by each and every Chelsea fan, who'll still remember the huge impact he played on the pitch during his immensely successful 13 year spell as player.

He was a hard working, industrious and prolific midfielder and his side play very much so in that image. His teams like to get forward, play on the front foot and score lots of goals, which was shown in the Championship last season.

Only 6 teams scored more goals than Derby (69) in the second tier which led to them making the play-off final. His brand of football produced both positive results and entertainment which will be music to the ears of Chelsea supporters, and more importantly he offered plenty of minutes to the clubs younger players.

On-loan Chelsea duo Masoun Mount and Fikayo Tomori flourished under Lampard's guidance along with Harry Wilson and 18 year-old Jayden Bogle. More of the same is required at the Bridge next season if the Blues are to successfully contend with this lengthy transfer ban placed on their shoulders.

Frank Lampard Chelsea
Frank Lampard worked under some top coaches during his playing time at Chelsea. The skills he picked up, combined with his superb playing career should only mean good things for the clubs youngsters

They have a talented pool of young players to choose from with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and January arrival Christian Pulisic all vying for action - along with the two loanees he had at Derby last year and many more.

The loss of Hazard and the ban gives them a huge opportunity to stake their claim at Stamford Bridge like never before. Young players, especially from the academy aren't often given chances in the first team at Chelsea and playing under a legend like Lampard, they'll get fantastic guidance and advice.

So whilst this could be a transitional period for Chelsea, it could also be the beginning of an exciting, new young era. They have some superb talent on the books and if they can click under Lampard it could very well be a memorable return to the capital for the 41 year-old.

But everyone needs to be patient with him like they haven't been before with previous Blues bosses, we can't stress that enough. Keep the faith in him if things aren't going well and hopefully they'll be rewarded.

It's refreshing to see a young English manager given an opportunity at a huge club, so best of luck Frank.


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