Is Frank Lampard on his way to the Chelsea dugout?
Background image: Joe Bloggsy, CC BY-SA 3.0
After a well-decorated playing career in which he won the Premier League, Champions League and several other trophies, Frank Lampard took his first job as a manager last summer. The decision to take over at Derby County and continue the Rams' push for the Premier League was greeted with scepticism.
His time at the club has been a relative success. The former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder quickly earned plaudits for his work with the Championship side, knocking former boss Jose Mourinho and Manchester United out of the EFL Cup early in the campaign. Lamps has kept Derby in and around the promotion places all season. Currently seventh in the mercurial Championship table, the side remains within a point of Middlesbrough in sixth.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's 6-0 mauling at the hands of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City on Sunday puts current Blues boss Maurizio Sarri under fire in his increasingly troubled debut season at Stamford Bridge. The Italian watched his side drop to sixth thanks to the lopsided score, with the title already out of the picture.
Roman Abramovich's impatience with underachievement is notorious. Devastating results like the City debacle and the recent 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth do not sit well with the oligarch even if he remains in exile with visa issues. It is not surprising that questions are being put to the manager about his future at the club. At a time when legends at other clubs are writing history, it shouldn't shock anyone if it's revealed the Chelsea owner has given some thought to putting his former midfielder in charge.
Zinedine Zidane and Santiago Solari impressed in their respective managerial debuts at Real Madrid. Manchester United recently brought in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite a clear defeat to Paris Saint-Germain after Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard limped off at the half-time whistle, no one is arguing the Norwegian hasn't revived the Red Devils fortunes. The team was in disarray under Jose Mourinho but Solskjaer steadied the ship and steered the club back into the Champions League places. Unfortunately, that has been largely at Chelsea’s expense.
At the moment, the Blues are tumbling down the table and could fall further behind if poor results continue. In that case, Sarri will have to make way. A look around reveals few proven managers available to take the club forward. So, why not Lampard?
While the 40-year-old lacks adequate experience, he already has more than both Zidane and Solari could offer when they took charge at the Bernabeu. Zizou proved his worth by claiming three Champions League titles in two-and-a-half years. Now Solari has Los Blancos back in the Primera Division title race. Their success is no guarantee for Lampard's but it does open the door for Chelsea to consider him.
He's already shown he can face down top sides without blinking. The League Cup win over United was followed by a narrow defeat to Chelsea themselves. Derby is still alive in the FA Cup after knocking off another Premier League side, Southampton.
At this rate, Lamps just needs to show consistency until the campaign concludes. Premier League clubs with openings will consider him. One of those could be Chelsea. What better offer could he receive than from the club for whom he scored 209 goals in a 13-year career?