Most football fans saw Frank Lampard’s appointment as the new Chelsea manager as a turning point. Not only for the London club but for Lampard himself.
In his first official job in management, Lampard took Derby County all the way to the final of the Championship play-offs, only to fall at the final hurdle by failing to beat Aston Villa to re-join the Premier League.
But on this journey, Lampard had Derby playing some scintillating football. As well as giving some exciting English talent like Mason Mount, Harry Wilson and Fikayo Tomori time to shine.
But despite all that, Derby will remain in the Championship for another year. But this time, Lampard will be in charge of his beloved Chelsea in the Premier League.
Chelsea are in somewhat of a limbo situation right now. They’ve sold their star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. They don’t know who their main striker is. Callum Hudson-Odoi is still recovering from a lengthy injury. All that while in the doldrums of a transfer ban.
But it’s not all bad for Chelsea though. They now have a manager who loves the club and knows it inside and out.
Plus the fact that he loved and respected by most football fans is a bonus too.
So, for now, it looks like the days of Chelsea players and fans turning on the manager look set to be over. And it’s unlikely Lampard will have any issues with Chelsea notoriously difficult board.
Now if you take the transfer ban, add it with Chelsea’s ridiculously long list of loanees and mix it with Lampard’s experience with Mount and Tomori. Chelsea fans could expect to see some fresh faces this season to make up for the lack of transfers.
But these new factors (including the long-awaited arrival of Christian Pulisic) don’t fix the huge hole left by Eden Hazard’s absence. A player of his calibre and quality leaving would be a huge loss for any club in the world.
So Chelsea’s wide options now include Pulisic, Willian, Pedro and Hudson-Odoi. Now whoever will be the main talisman in the centre forward position is still a mystery.
Premier League veteran Oliver Giroud is looking the safe option. But whether Lampard will want to take a gamble with Michy Batshuayi is up in the air. Or give Tammy Abraham a chance to prove himself in the Premier League once again after an impressive bout with Aston Villa in the Championship last season.
The main issue with Lampard’s appointment is that he is still in the early days of management. But he knows the Premier League extremely well and how it works. And he has already shown an essence of strong leadership, respect and knowledge of management.
It’s obvious that Lampard will have his hands full at Chelsea. But what feels good is that he’ll get a lot of time to fit all the pieces together and get Chelsea back on track.
This season really does feel like a fresh start for a club that were piddling around the wrong end of the top six. If Lampard can get the recipe right for short term success in a domestic cup competition, whilst building an exciting team for the future. Chelsea fans will have a lot to look forward to this season and beyond.