Crystal Palace are interested in appointing former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard if Roy Hodgson departs the Eagles at the end of the campaign, but his proposed arrival could be a huge mistake.
Hodgson is out of contract at Selhurst Park over the summer, and with no new deal on the table, it’s looking increasingly likely that the 73-year-old will exit the south London club over the next few weeks or months.
The former England boss has enjoyed four successful campaigns with the Eagles, finishing as high as 11th in his first season in charge and keeping them out of a relegation scrap throughout his tenure. However, Palace’s pragmatic style of play has seen large sections of the club’s supporters become frustrated with their team’s performances, and it’s easy to understand why.
Hodgson’s men scored an incredibly low 31 Premier League goals in 38 games in 2019/20, with only basement club Norwich City finding the back of the net on fewer occasions.
There’s been some improvement this time around, as 40 attempts have already been converted with two matches still left to play, but it doesn’t appear to have been enough to earn the former Inter Milan boss fresh terms at Selhurst park.
Talk has therefore turned to who could replace the experienced campaigner. Several well-established names such as Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche have been linked with succeeding Hodgson, alongside a rookie of the managerial world in Lampard.
According to a report on iNews, the 42-year-old former England midfielder is the favourite to take over the reins at Selhurst Park as the club seek to build on the solid foundations Hodgson has put in place.
Lampard’s Chelsea were certainly more entertaining and attacking than Palace have been for quite some time; his Blues outfit were the Premier League’s third top scorers behind Liverpool and Manchester City last season, although that’s about where the positives ended.
It’s true that Lampard brought through several youth stars at Stamford Bridge, trusting the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham with first team roles, but his tactical shortcomings were clear for all to see and has been truly exposed by the job Thomas Tuchel has done since succeeding him.
Chelsea have conceded just 10 top-flight goals in 17 games under the German’s leadership, with five of those coming in one match after failing to cope with going down to 10 men against West Brom, while also reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
In Lampard’s one full season in charge, the Blues leaked 54 goals and were eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League on an aggregate score of 7-1 by eventual champions Bayern Munich.
His respectable 49.65% win rate is boosted by the fact he was in charge of Derby County and Chelsea teams expected to be at the upper echelons of their respective divisions and somewhat hides the inefficiencies which were present throughout his time at both clubs.
In fairness, Lampard did also guide his side to the FA Cup final, but that’s where the similarities between him and Tuchel end. Palace have 17 players coming to the end of their contracts over the summer, and the Eagles need an experienced head to guide them out of this crossroads, not someone who is still learning the ropes.