In defence of Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard may be a far cry from some of the more illustrious names that Chelsea Football Club have appointed in the past, but his status within the London club could be the reason why fans and the owner will afford him more time than previous managers in the Stamford Bridge hot seat.

Frank Lampard’s Derby County (TM) had a decent season under the 41 year-old who steered them into the Championship Final Play Off Final only to fall at the final hurdle to Aston Villa.

It might not look like a truly successful season for Derby County as a whole but for Frank Lampard’s first crack as a manager in an absolute minefield of a league that is the Championship, he’ll no doubt see it as a fine season especially for a debuting manager at a high profile club.

That fine season has now landed him the Chelsea job having jettisoned another manager out of the hot seat.

It’s an unenviable job in many respects with fan pressure, Roman Abramovich’s itchy trigger finger and being unable to sign any players due to a transfer ban.

With Eden Hazard now off to Real Madrid, Chelsea’s focus will now turn to its youth and let’s be fair here, Chelsea’s youth set up is pretty damn good and it’s this resource that could be why Frank Lampard will get this Chelsea team going in the right direction.

The Europa League winners from last season go into this season as 8/1 at the time of writing to win the Premier League season.

I don’t think Frank Lampard or many Chelsea fans themselves would be expecting something like that, but finishing in a Europa League spot would be a very successful finish for the club in its current state.

With Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all strengthening their squads, fourth place may not be entirely out of their reach but Manchester United, Arsenal and even possibly Wolves could be duking it out for that much coveted Champions League place.

There’s no reason why Chelsea couldn’t pick up the fourth spot but it’s all about attitude and while Lampard comes across well and is an enthusiastic manager, he knows his limitations.

Premier League experience as a player is one thing, but managing a big club in the Premier League so early on in his managerial career is on another level.

What you can do on a pitch to help out your team is entirely different to shouting instructions from a sideline without the ball at your feet to influence play.

The thing that Frank Lampard has that most managers at Chelsea didn’t get is legendary status; 429 appearances for the club, numerous trophies and 149 goals is something Chelsea supporters won’t soon forget.

The club is in a different place right now and Lampard will be given the patience and time to take the club into a new direction.

Having come up through the ranks at West Ham, Lampard knows the youth set up well and can tap into the experiences and emotions that come with being called up to the big time.

This is something that is being overlooked when it comes to Frank Lampard.

He is a goldmine of experience, has worked under some of the best managers in the world and very nearly got Derby County promoted to the Premier League at the first time of asking in an unforgiving league.

Is he raw? Absolutely. But what’s wrong with being raw when you’re full of enthusiasm and basically bleed blue that is adored by a fanbase and can draw from the rich history of Chelsea Football Club.

Let’s be honest. They could have done a lot worse.

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Shane Saunders

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