For the first time since 2014, Chelsea midfield legend, Frank Lampard returns to Stamford bridge in a Chelsea shirt.. well Chelsea managerial.. suit.. I guess, you get the point. The legendary England midfielder has officially put pen to paper, signing with the club in replacement of Mauricio Sarri as manager. After a 3rd place finish and a Europa League title triumph last season, Sarri moved back to Italy with Serie A powerhouses Juventus to further progress his career (and this time actually win a league title).
Ever since his departure, there were rumors linking Lampard with the job right away. Already beginning his coaching career with Championship side Derby County, their impressive performances leading up to an agonizing elimination from the promotion playoffs was enough to convince fans that the club legend was ready to take the next step up as Chelsea manager.
With Eden Hazard gone and a transfer ban currently plaguing their business this summer, not many managers were interested in taking over the club in this situation.. so why not go for a club legend who loves this club so dearly. Having bounced around managers since Antonio Conte’s sacking at the end of the 2017-18 season, Lampard is tasked with integrating his new style of play and making it something constant in a team that has recently been experiencing a great deal of unstable change. With Hazard gone and Christian Pulisic coming in, that will look to be Lampard’s focus for the beginning weeks of preseason to see how the American can fit into the squad and deal with the loss of the focal point of the entire Chelsea squad in Eden Hazard.
So how will Lamps do? Well, we have seen before that club legends can work miracles in managerial roles (Zidane), but coaching Chelsea in just your 2nd year of management will always have its difficulties. By being a club legend, he will earn respect from the players without having to expend any extra effort to do so. With respect comes discipline and with discipline comes the desire to win and grind results.
If Lampard can find a way to integrate Pulisic into the side and maintain a very attacking minded midfield, there is every reason to believe this team will once again fight for a top 4 spot.
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer (@DiefDorf)