It is perhaps too early to put Super Frankie in the bracket of ‘Super player – mediocre manager’.
The illustrious club that has the likes of Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Tony Adams etc. cannot admit Frank Lampard yet. His reign at Chelsea can be best termed – ‘arrived early, left early’.
We thought Roman Abramovich had turned a new leaf when he appointed Lampard in the first place. We thought Chelsea had found their ‘ride and die’ until Monday morning when the news hit like Dustin Poirier punches on Connor McGregor. Well, we were not supposed to be surprised, firing and hiring managers has become a culture at Chelsea. But as stated earlier, Lampard was not in the ilk of their type of managers when he was appointed. However, it had the potential of a Cinderella story. Lampard, a legend at the club, taking over the club and leading them to glory. It appeared like Lampard could be to Chelsea what Pep Guardiola was to Barcelona and Zinedine Zidane was to Real Madrid. It was also Chelsea joining the tradition of having former players at the helms. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at Manchester United and Arsenal have also gone for Mikel Arteta. It also seemed like a marriage of convenience, at a time Chelsea were under a transfer ban and they needed someone that was their own to help them through the period.
All those said, Lampard never looked like a well thought out plan at the outset. Though there were some glimpses at Derby County, it was not enough to trust him with a job as demanding and unforgiving like the Chelsea job. The safest option could have been keeping Maurizio Sarri on the job. Now that it is all done, what next for Lampard?
Lampard was always going to manage Chelsea at a point but it came too early. Even at that, never rule out a second coming. However, it could be a long and rough road to his second coming. Now is the time for Lampard to pay the dues he could have avoided paying if Chelsea had stuck with him. Reality is, Lampard will not get a top job in England, at least not anytime soon. He has to probably return to the Championship and work his way back to the top. Another option is to get a job outside England where he can prove that he has what it takes to be a top coach.
Lampard at Chelsea was a manager that didn’t instill any noticeable identity. It was difficult to define his style and notice his imprint on the team. Lampard has to work on that, almost all top coaches are synonymous with a style. Even when results are not going their way there is always the tendency to see the process and trust them. That did not happen with Lampard in his 18 months at Chelsea, probably the reason why he was sacked.
Another option is to admit that he might not be cut out for coaching. Becoming a Pundit has become quite lucrative for retired footballers. Lampard could swap the dugout for the studio were he gets the job done on touch screens rather than on the field of play. The likes of Neville, Adams, Tim Sherwood etc. are making waves, winning matches on touch screens.
However, it will be too early for Lampard to give up on coaching, there are signs he could have something to offer. Lampard might have taken a bite at the cherry too early, hindering his chance for a second bite. But as stated earlier, he will have to earn his second bite. He will have to work for it, it will not be given on a platter. The disappointment at Chelsea could be just a blip but only he (Lampard) can prove that.
Written by Babatomiwa Ojo
@10qmedia on Twitter