Frank Lampard must do four things at Chelsea if he becomes their next manager
Chelsea identified Lampard as their first-choice replacement for Maurizio Sarri this week after the Italian was given permission to join Juventus.
The Blues have finally agreed terms with the Serie A champions over Sarri’s compensation fee, believed to be around £5million, which can leverage the £4m needed to buy Lampard out of his Derby deal that runs until 2021.
Chelsea’s all-time top scorer made his first forays into management last term with The Rams, guiding a talented young squad to sixth in the Championship before narrowly losing the play-off final to Aston Villa.
Although vastly inexperienced for the post, many Chelsea fans are backing Lampard to succeed Sarri, whose cyclical football masked last season’s third-place finish and Europa League triumph. So what must Lampard do to secure success at Stamford Bridge? Express Sport hovers the magnifying glass…
Don’t try to replace Hazard with Pulisic
Eden Hazard joined Real Madrid this week in a deal worth £88m, with potential add-ons. The Belgian was Chelsea’s standout player over the last seven years and enjoyed his most prolific season last term. He cannot be replaced.
Chelsea bought American wonderkid Christian Pulisic, who can operate in similar position, in January, but Lampard should not try to use Pulisic as previous Chelsea managers did Hazard.
Pulisic is a relatively inexperienced goalscorer, bagging just 19 strikes in 127 career appearances thus far. He will not be able to restore the deficit Chelsea will contend with in Hazard’s wake, but can form an exciting young forward line.
Once Callum-Hudson Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek return from injury, and with the potential return of Tammy Abraham, Chelsea will have a sprightly forward line, and Pulisic should merely begin as a cog.
Frank Lampard should not try to replace Chelsea legend Eden Hazard with Christian Pulisic
Stay on your own journey
Lampard only began working on his UEFA Pro licence – the badge required to manage in the Premier League – in the autumn. He is very much in the embryonic stages of his managerial career.
As a result, the former England midfielder should ensure that he develops himself in the grounding years the way he wants to – he should not bend over backwards for Chelsea.
The club have seemingly become more lenient with style in recent years and developed a great tolerance with managers.
Lampard’s legendary status at Stamford Bridge will afford him time and love from supporters, so he should use it wisely and get his team playing in the manner in which he believes.
Players such as Tammy Abraham have been loaned out by Chelsea the past few years
Faith in youth, fewer loans
Chelsea have garnered the undesirable reputation of a loan farm, where young players are developed and then loaned out before being sold.
Although a strong business model, academy graduates Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek broke into the first-team last season and showed they belonged.
Blues fans are desperate to see homegrown talent flourish, and Lampard got the best out of Chelsea youngsters Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori at Derby last season.
As it stands, Chelsea will not be able to buy players for the next two transfer windows due to their FIFA transfer ban, which the club is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That means they will have to look to promote from within, creating a perfect environment for Lampard, where the pressure is somewhat relieved.
Frank Lampard should stick with his backroom staff which included former Chelsea coach Jody Morris
Don’t make it an old boys’ club
Lampard was joined by longtime Chelsea coach Jody Morris at Derby and the pair struck up a strong working relationship, alongside the other three members of the 40-year-old’s tight backroom team.
Chelsea tend to allow managers to bring along their own coaching staff – such as Sarri – and Lampard should keep faith in the team who he started his journey with.
Gianfranco Zola was brought in to accompany Sarri at the start of last season but more as a link between the coaching team and fans as opposed to a long-term recruit. Regardless of Sarri’s on-paper success last season, Lampard’s arrival would reflect a pulling up of the roots in west London.
He, therefore, does not need the remnants of Sarri’s reign and needn’t a liaison between him and fans, either. If Chelsea are to put faith in Frank, they need to go all in and he should demand that things are done his way.