According to The Times, Frank Lampard has agreed to replace Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager following a phone call plea from Roman Abramovich. Of course, the former midfielder is synonymous with the west London club, playing a pivotal role in three of their Premier League titles, not to mention the 2012 Champions League title, and becoming their all-time record goalscorer.
But performing on the pitch is a whole different world to performing in the dugout and while this seemingly imminent return may tug on the heart strings, it’s a naive move from the Chelsea hierarchy. Here are two clear reasons why Abramovich has just made a big mistake in offering the role to Lampard…
We often talk about experience in football and it truly does seem to play a major part in most of the big decisions taken by any serious club. And this issue was indeed reportedly addressed at Chelsea, the Daily Mail recently claimed, though it does not seem to have changed Abramovich’s mind over appointing Lampard.
But it should have. Simply put, Derby County are no Chelsea and while overseeing a Championship team is by no means easy, is Lampard really ready to make such a step up after only a year managing a team?
We have already seen that those stories often lead to heartbreak when they are not properly thought through. Just think of Thierry Henry and his blunder at Monaco. A lack of experience was no doubt a factor in his demise as he went on to be removed from the position less than a year in charge.
Those situations only make things far worse for the club and Chelsea are in no position to be making such risky appointments while they face a two-window transfer ban and the loss of their best player, Eden Hazard.
Lampard too, risks tarnishing his legacy.
Who could replace Sarri at Chelsea? Fans will be hoping it’s not any of the names in the video below…
The Daily Mail also reported that Lampard is “held in high regard by owner Roman Abramovich” and talk about “an emotional return to Stamford Bridge”, but all of those reasons sound wrong when talking about choosing the guy who is supposed to lead your team back to glory.
Sure, it feels like fate that a legend of the club returns back to dig his team of old out of the gutter but football is a serious business and there’s often no place for romance here, especially nowadays.
Lampard should follow Xavi’s example and wait for a couple of years before throwing himself on the biggest stage there is without anything to really back him up and vouch for his expertise.
At the same time, this is so strangely far removed from most of the decision-making that has brought Chelsea such success under Abramovich. Appointments have been clinical and based on track records, while sackings have been cut-throat to try and sustain that Chelsea standard.
This appointment though seems to be based purely on instinct and emotion. That’s never been the Abramovich way and he could soon come to regret it.