Pundit View: Phil Hay wrong to laud Frank Lampard

Leeds United journalist Phil Hay has taken the risky move of praising Derby County manager Frank Lampard on Twitter.

The Chelsea legend is an unpopular figure around Elland Road due to the fallout of the spygate scandal in January.

What’s been said then?

The Yorkshire Evening Post writer published an article praising both Lampard and Bielsa for fantastic first campaigns. The piece drew some backlash from the Whites fanbase who questioned Hay’s view on Lampard’s first season as he hadn’t improved on the Rams’ sixth-place finish last season.

The Scot began replying to fans on Twitter, justifying his view by saying:

“It’s his first season in management, in a cut-throat division which did for Rowett and might do for Pulis. He’s done a good job.”

He replied to another fan who disagreed with his thoughts posting: “Potentially unpopular opinion but you have to see it for what it is.”

Unpopular for a reason

Lampard’s first season in management can’t be fully judged until the playoffs are done and dusted.

The Midlands club have been knocking on the door of the Premier League for a decade now, and if the 40-year-old is the one to lead them to the promised land then he will be heralded as a great manager.

As it stands though, Lampard has not eclipsed the achievements of many of his predecessors. The Rams have been in the playoffs three times in the past six years and each time it has ended the same.

This time more was expected of Derby due to the amount of financial backing they had during the summer, leading to the owner bending the rules of FFP so that the club could avoid sanctions.

With talent such as Harry Wilson, Mason Mount, Tom Lawrence and Jack Marriott all being brought in last summer, for Derby to finish in the exact same spot they did last season has to be regarded as a failure.

Unless they are promoted through the playoffs there is no reason for Lampard to be regarded as any more successful than Gary Rowett was last year.