This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to The Daily Mirror, former Chelsea star Boudewijn Zenden has drawn comparisons between Frank Lampard and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Blues legend Lampard took over at Stamford Bridge following a relatively successful spell at Derby in the Championship last season, and Zenden has insisted that the former midfielder’s age and inexperience shouldn’t be counted against him.
He said: “I know Frank did very well at Derby County, so it was a good time for him to go to Chelsea. Guardiola was only young when he was appointed at Barcelona, so I don’t see why this is any different. He can do well, he is a clever guy and earned his stripes as a player. Who knows how it will go? But he is bright and deserves a chance.”
On first glance, comparing the two due to their age and inexperience seems like a reasonable thing to do. Guardiola after all had been appointed Barcelona manager after being in charge of the Catalan side’s B team, whilst Lampard comes into the Chelsea job following a year’s worth of experience in the second-flight of English football.
But Guardiola took over the reigns of a Barcelona squad that still had stars like Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry, amongst others. Not to mention a fresh-faced Lionel Messi waiting to spread his wings. Lampard on the other hand, has seen Chelsea’s best player over arguably the past decade in Eden Hazard leave the club, and has had to work under the restriction of a prospective transfer ban.
Lampard’s initial foray into management should be applauded, but the scale of the task ahead at Stamford Bridge is far bigger than what Guardiola had to face at Barcelona.