Next Chelsea Manager: What does the most dangerous job in football demand exactly?by Andy Dillon / 17 June 2019, 13:58Tweet
Frank Lampard is intelligent, hugely-professional and dedicated.
He is Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer and even took a punch from a crazed Tottenham fan on the pitch for his team. Some service record that.
Yet you still can’t help feeling that’s not quite enough for the fans who think they really should have everything.
Maurizio Sarri’s football was boring apparently. Beating Arsenal 4-1 in a European final, getting 19 goals out of Eden Hazard, sudden-death penalties against Manchester City at Wembley, just dull.
One thing about Sarri’s brief reign is that it was far from dreary. Even getting smashed 6-0 at Manchester City is hardly tedious.
Yet Chelsea’s hard-to-please ‘customers’ want more bang from their chairman Bruce Buck as he guides owner Roman Abramovich towards a seemingly inevitable reunion with Lamps the returning hero.
So what does the most dangerous job in football demand exactly?
Last season Chelsea won the Europa League, finished third in the Premier League and reached two cup finals. But yeh, of course, the football was no good say the supporters.
And the Europa League? Weeeellll, not quite the Champions League is it?
The club itself is little better. The top brass at Stamford Bridge were upset that Sarri merely wanted to coach. Fancy that!
The 60-year-old Italian did not enjoy press conferences, he shunned the limelight. Sarri just wanted to coach his players and pick a team. He did not want the showbiz throng that is modern-day English football.
So let’s get this right. Chelsea fans want a manager who plays exciting football week in, week out? They also want to win a major trophy every year? The club wants an A-list celebrity who will improve the brand and dazzle TV audiences.
The FIFA football of Pep Guardiola, the ruthless mentality of Jose Mourinho and the charisma of Jurgen Klopp.
There you go, not much to ask for is it? Only at Chelsea would they think that totally rational behaviour.
You only hope that Lampard, due to meet owner Roman Abramovich later this week, is fully aware of the job requirements.
Yes, he played for Chelsea for 13 years and won the lot but that was as a mere player. The bloke who ran himself into the ground season after season to make a succession of managers look good and to make Abramovich feel good about a bulging trophy cabinet.
Nobody knows if Lampard’s idea on how to play the game is thrill-a-minute. He’s only been a manager for one season - with Championship Derby County.
County finished Lampard’s debut season in exactly the same sixth position in the table as they did the year before under Gary Rowett - but actually with a point less.
The English second tier is known as a grind. 46 games in a relentless schedule that beats the living hell out of any kind of Samba style beach soccer even if you wanted to play it.
Lampard has not won a cup. He got within 90 minutes of the Play Off Trophy but that went to Aston Villa and Derby are staying down.
Where he does score is with his character. With 10 GCSEs and a rugged determination, Lampard talks the game as good as anybody and when he speaks, everybody listens.
The questions being asked are about Lampard being the correct ‘fit’ for Chelsea?
Just because he played there doesn’t mean the transition from dressing room to the first floor manager’s office at the Cobham training ground in Surrey will be seamless.
For unless a manager can win every trophy going playing like Brazil in their pomp and can also tap dance while playing the piano with their teeth, it’s unlikely Chelsea is the right place for anybody.