Sports

Sport debate: Is Frank Lampard the right man to replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea?

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Chelsea are expected to choose Frank Lampard as their next manager following the departure of Maurizio Sarri. But is the clubs all-time record goalscorer the right man to replace the Italian? Two of our writers wade into the debate.

YES: Frank Dalleres

Talk of Chelsea calling on Frank Lampard to return as manager just one year into his dugout career might seem premature in normal circumstances. But these are anything but and the very real prospect of a transfer ban preventing the Blues from making any signings until next summer changes everything. The likelihood is that some managers who might ordinarily be in Chelseas crosshairs will not want to join a club where they cannot make any signings – especially one whose squad is a very mixed bag and has just been shorn of its outstanding player in Eden Hazard. Chelseas options are, therefore, restricted. In that context it makes sense – and is at the very least a terrific short-term PR move – for them to consider more leftfield options such as Lampard and task him with incorporating some of the talent from the enviable production line at Cobham, thereby also answering long-standing calls from supporters to promote youth to the first team. We dont know much about Lampard the manager but what we have learned from his one season in management is that he has the appetite and ability to work with young players. At Derby he leaned heavily on loanees Harry Wilson, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori – the latter two borrowed from Chelsea. Read more:How Lampard turned Derby into giant-killers A huge argument in favour of choosing Lampard is his No2 Jody Morris, the former Blues midfielder and youth team coach who knows the clubs production line of talent better than anyone. Morris would need to accompany his old team-mate back to south-west London if this is to have the most realistic chance of working out.
There are side-benefits to appointing Lampard. His legend status with supporters should buy the new project the longer period of grace that it may need, as well as reviving terrace goodwill sapped by the Maurizio Sarri era. Lampard is also likely to be cheaper than some more experienced alternatives and therefore easier to cast aside if it all goes sour. Its true that appointing a former player can be an emotional decision that ends up looking foolish, but for the reasons listed above there is sound logic to trying Lampard. He is worth a punt and if it doesnt work out then Chelsea can return to old ways and hire a big hitter next summer. A bit of a long shot it may be, but Lampard has a habit of making those work.

NO: Felix Keith

Frank Lampard might be a good manager. He might have the requisite people skills, tactical acumen, coaching ability, motivational qualities and countless other attributes needed to lead a top-six Premier League side. But we simply cant make that judgement yet. We know exactly what Lampard the player was because he made around 1,000 appearances for club and country over a distinguished 21-year career. But Lampard the manager has barely had the time to show us his characteristics, taking charge of just 57 competitive games for Derby County. He oversaw some morale-boosting, headline-writing cup wins over Manchester United and Southampton on penalties, but ultimately failed in delivering the Rams main goal. The 40-year-old accrued one point fewer than his predecessor, Gary Rowett, and lost the play-off final to rivals Aston Villa to miss out on promotion from the Championship. That is the extent of his CV as a manager. Its not a bad one, but neither is it worthy of a prize job at the eighth richest club in the world. No matter which way you look at it – whether through a neutral, dispassionate lens, or blue-tinted spectacles – Chelsea are taking a gamble. So why would the clubs brains trust – owner Roman Abramovich, chairman Bruce BRead More – Source

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