Can Frank Lampard actually succeed as Chelsea manager?
After a fruitful yet complicated 2018-2019 campaign, Chelsea achieved a Premier League third-place finish, Carabao Cup final and Europa League trophy. Although they now find themselves in an unfavorable situation. A transfer ban till 2020 and the departure of star man Eden Hazard and manager Maurizio Sarri. Sarri's move to Juventus paved the way for club legend Frank Lampard. However, this decision received its fair share of criticism due to Frank Lampard's lack of experience in management, with his only job being his one year stint at Derby last year. Furthermore, his squad is mainly filled with youngsters trying to break the glass ceiling and players who underperformed last year. Moreover, the Premier League is becoming more and more competitive with teams like Manchester City and Liverpool becoming European heavyweights and teams like Wolves, Everton and Leicester becoming more menacing. So when you weigh up all these variables, the odds are heavily stacked against Lampard.
Therefore the question should be asked: Is Lampard capable of succeeding as Chelsea manager? I believe, with the backing of the board and fans.
One reason why I believe Lampard is the man to restore Chelsea to their former glories is that he has a brilliant connection with the youth. One of those players is the 20-year-old playmaker known as Mason Mount. Mount is an extremely talented player who has progressed through the Chelsea ranks. However, the real reason he is important is because of his relationship with Frank Lampard. They both spent time at Derby last season, so Mount is probably very aware of how Lampard wants to play. Also, Mount appears to have a similar play style to Frank Lampard, which could make it easier for Lampard to mold Mount into the perfect midfielder. Frank Lampard used youth at Derby, therefore he is likely to use his youth players at Chelsea to try to fill voids in the team. This approach would be extremely beneficial for Chelsea as for years they have turned a blind eye to magnificent youth products, only for them to be wasted and then eventually sold. It could also give Chelsea a sustainable Long term strategy, something they have lacked since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
Another reason why Chelsea could thrive under Lampard is because of his legendary status at the club. It has to be said that most Chelsea fans were thrilled when the news of his appointment broke. This is because of his Many achievements and goals for the club. Also, He had a devoted loyalty to the club that very few footballers have. This made fans adore him and show him the utmost respect. One reason why Sarri may have failed is because of the lack of respect he received from the fans. This respect is also shared by the players and board. This is important as coaches at Chelsea have failed because the players do not believe in them. This happened to Mourinho in 2015 and Conte in 2018. Lampard is also valued by the board. This is important because it's likely they will give him more time and allow him to build his dynasty.
A further reason is that tactically, Frank Lampard looks the part. At Derby, he was well known for a pragmatic approach to the game. This involved attacking and defensive football when necessary, and a sensible approach to the game ahead of him. Lampard also experimented with several formations like the 4 3 3 and the 4 2 3 1. This approach is positive for Chelsea as he can discover the right way to play with his players, rather than implementing a style or ideology on the team. This is something Sarri failed to do, as he appeared to be stubborn and rigid with his philosophy. Experimenting with tactics can also be risky however since there is always the chance it doesn't work. This could potentially bring bad results because In the Premier League you cannot be unprepared or else you will be punished.
Currently, Chelsea is finishing pre-season. My impression is that the blues are still slightly behind fitness. Although, there have been some impressive performances from Mason mount and Ross Barkley. These two are both Midfielders who seem to have been massively helped by Frank Lampard. Especially Ross Barkley, who was under a lot of scrutinies last season. Lampard has also used a lot of youth in pre-season, which could suggest he may turn to youth throughout the season. He is also showing signs of pragmatic tactics already, as against Reading and RB Salzburg we saw more high press attacking the football. Whereas against Barcelona we saw a more defensive strategy. Nevertheless, we await the opening game of the season against Manchester United, where many questions will be answered.
Ultimately, no one can be sure if he will succeed or not, but one thing is for sure, it will require patience or he may suffer the same fate as his predecessors.