|Frank Lampard is the only Chelsea manager to lose their first four games in charge. AFP Photo.|
Frank Lampard was a genius of a footballer. An incredibly skillful box-to-box midfielder who will go down in history as one of Chelsea’s best-ever players.
He won everything there is for a domestic player to win, and then some. Three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two Football League Cups, Champions League and the Europa League.
In 609 Premier League appearances he scored 177 times. That puts him sixth in the all-time goal scoring chart in the Premier League, and the only midfielder in the top 20.
Although he played for Chelsea, and as I’m a Liverpool fan I should automatically hate him, there was never any doubt that he was a class act and a joy to watch.
After hanging up his boots, Frank tried his hand at management, first with Derby County, and then his old club Chelsea.
A spell at Everton followed before he was sacked after a run of just one win in eleven matches, and has now been brought back to Stamford Bridge on an interim basis.
Things have not gone well.
He’s lost his first four games in charge, the only ever Chelsea manager to do so, and if you go back to the beginning of the year before he was shown the door at Everton, he never won a single game in January.
That means in 2023, Lampard hasn’t won a single game.
I think this proves that good footballers don’t necessarily make good managers.
There are exceptions, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti both had stellar careers and are arguably the two best managers around.
On the flip side, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp will be the first to admit he wasn’t that good a player, and although Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag had an OK career in the Netherlands he’s hardly what you would call a superstar.
Steven Gerrard, another fabulous player, has hit a dead-end as far as his managerial career goes after he was sacked by Aston Villa, who have gone from strength to strength since he left.
And after a few attempts in management, Roy Keane, another superb footballer, seems far more comfortable analysing football matches as a pundit rather than manager.
After they were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this week, Chelsea have nothing left to play for.
They are currently 11th in the Premier League and Lampard could end the season as the manager who led Chelsea to their lowest league finish in 20 years, a record currently held by Guus Hiddink who finished 10th while managing the team from Stamford Bridge in the 2016-17 season.
So maybe it’s time to be frank, Frank. You were a fabulous footballer, one of the greatest of a generation, but as a manager? Not so much. VNS