Back To The Future? Lampard Set For Chelsea Manager Role Until End Of Season

By Ian John
April 6, 2023

In one of the more surprising twists of fate, Chelsea seem to have settled on the man that they want in charge until the end of the season.

And that man is former boss Frank Lampard. Yes, the same Frank Lampard who was manager before both the recently sacked Graham Potter and his predecessor, now Bayern Munich boss, Thomas Tuchel.

Since then, Lampard has endured a somewhat torrid spell as Everton manager, getting the sack earlier this season with the Toffees languishing near the foot of the table.

Yet, now he is back in charge of a club he served as both a player and a manager and it is fair to say that when you checked through bet365 Sport and the odds offered by them to be the new Chelsea boss, Lampard was probably a fair way down the list.

So how come he is back in charge?

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Boehly Notable By His Absence After Potter Decision

In stark contrast to earlier in his reign as the new Chelsea owner, Todd Boehly was notable by his absence this week after the decision to terminate the reign of Graham Potter.

Having spent a reported £21m in order to bring him into the club from Brighton, Potter’s reign lasted barely seven months and in terminating what was remaining on his five and a half year deal that he signed, it reportedly cost Chelsea another £17m.

That is on top of the over £500m in spending that Todd Boehly has overseen in both the summer and winter transfer windows for his club.

While Boehly was frequently seen at Stamford Bridge during the early part of his reign, he seems to have taken a backwards step of late, resigning as sporting director at the club and he was nowhere to be seen this week at the game with Liverpool after Potter’s sacking was announced.

With Chelsea fans unhappy at the club languishing down in 11th place in the league table and a growing unrest over Potter being manager, it seems that Boehly had little choice but to call time on his spell in charge of the club.

But with a number of potential options available as manager, why has Boehly and his team decided to go ‘back to the future’ with a manager who left the club barely two years ago?

Making The Right Call

The move to appoint Lampard on a short-term deal until the end of the season does seem to be a move to buy the Chelsea ownership more time to ensure that their next appointment as manager is not made in haste.

That likely stems from the surprising decision to sack Thomas Tuchel earlier this season, a very strange decision at the time, especially when you consider he was snapped up quickly by Bayern Munich a short time thereafter.

It’s clear that knee-jerk reaction has proven very costly for Chelsea and their new owner and it is abundantly clear they don’t want to make the same mistake again.

By appointing Frank Lampard as manager, the aim was clearly to appease the fan base at Stamford Bridge who were growing impatient with poor performances and poor results in recent times.

Lampard, being a Chelsea legend as a player, still carries favour with lots of Chelsea supporters, even though his spell as manager didn’t end particularly well.

However, while some Chelsea fans have welcomed the appointment, there are a growing number who view the move as being wasteful, especially when there appear to be better options available.

Who Else Could Chelsea Have Appointed?

There were a number of names that were strongly linked with Chelsea, and who enjoyed positive support from a significant proportion of their fans, to become their next manager.

One such name was former Spain national team boss Luis Enrique.

https://twitter.com/actinlikewilt/status/1643893547135803392

The Spaniard is well regarded from his time as manager of AS Roma, Celta Vigo and most notably Barcelona and the Spanish national team.

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara is one player that has sung the praises of Enrique stating that the Spaniard “has the analytical positioning of Pep [Guardiola] and the aggressiveness of Klopp”

It is not known whether or not Chelsea made a move to sign Enrique as manager after sacking Graham Potter, but he is certainly one of the names that the Chelsea fans were hoping to see come into the club.

Another was the former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann. The young manager, who is still only in his mid-30s, was surprisingly sacked from his position as Munich coach in the middle of this season, allegedly after falling out with a number of stars at the German giants.

Rated by many as the best young manager in the world, Nagelsmann is another name that Chelsea fans were hoping would be considered for the post given the positive reports emanating from his teams in Germany.

Super-agent Fabrizio Romano has seemingly confirmed that the club are in talks with the two managers named above about taking over at the end of the season.

A Potential Fly In The Ointment?

On the one hand, Chelsea fans should be happy with their club doing their due diligence on their next manager but there is one potential fly in the ointment, which strangely has occurred to Chelsea a couple of times in the past.

And that is, what if Frank Lampard not only improves their league form, but leads the team to another Champions League success?

Strange as it may seem, that is what happened when Chelsea won their first Champions League trophy when Roberto Di Matteo was caretaker boss and then a few years ago when they won their second, it was when Thomas Tuchel had come in to replace Frank Lampard himself.

If lightning like this should strike a third time, how could Boehly consider letting Lampard go when he has delivered the trophy that most clubs in Europe covet the most?

In one way, this is a nice problem for Boehly and company to have, but it will be one that will be scrutinised a great deal by Chelsea fans.

Currently, bet365 Sport have Luis Enrique to be the next manager at Chelsea in post on the 1st September 2023, with Julian Nagelsmann 2/1 and Frank Lampard the 4/1 outsider.

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