Lampard Has Odds Stacked Against Him But Don’t Write Him Off

Lampard Has Odds Stacked Against Him But Don’t Write Him Off

Nobody at Chelsea will miss Maurizio Sarri but Frank Lampard will still have a tough act to follow if he takes charge at Stamford Bridge.

Third in the Premier League and back in the Champions League. Europa League winners. EFL Cup runners-up. And that still felt like an unsatisfying season to Roman Abramovich and most of the fans.

That was largely due to Sarri’s odd personality and his tedious brand of football.

By contrast, Lampard, the massive favourite to become the next manager, will get more love in the stands and surely more time from the boardroom after spending 11 years building a reputation as one of the club’s greatest players.

He didn’t do that by resting on his laurels and taking things for granted, however.

If he lands the job – and sources say bookmakers are close to suspending betting – Lampard will not rely on past glories to see him through.

He is too smart, too ambitious and too fierce a competitor for that to happen. He will want to be judged as a manager alone, with the first job finding a way to compensate for the departure of superstar play-maker Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.

With Manchester City and Liverpool currently so dominant in the English game, it will be a tough task for any boss among the remaining four “elite” Premier League clubs to get back to the very top.

Latest Lampard To Chelsea Odds

Lampard is 1/16 with both Betfair and Paddy Power to replace Sarri after the Italian’s departure for Juventus.

It follows a successful first season in management for the former England midfielder – who will be 41 on Thursday – in which he led Derby County to the Championship play-off final.

Yet even accounting for the knowledge that Lampard may be on his way back to Fulham Broadway, Chelsea are not favoured to match this season’s third-place finish – with the bookies rating them fourth in line for the title behind City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Coral rate Chelsea at 20/1 to regain the title they last won under Antonio Conte in 2017.

The extent of City and Liverpool’s current power is illustrated by the fact that Pep Guardiola’s team are 8/13 favourites for a third successive triumph, the shortest ever price to win the Premier League before a ball has been kicked.

Last season’s runners-up Liverpool are 5/2 and Spurs are outsiders at 16/1.

Chelsea finished no fewer than 28 points behind City last season and 27 points behind Liverpool.

So a massive catch-up is required and Lampard’s first season is likely to be transitional rather than definitive. It is also likely that they will be operating under a two-window FIFA ban from signing players.

In the Champions League betting, Chelsea are only fancied 10th in the running with Ladbrokes pricing them at 25/1 and Bet365 at 33/1.

Redknapp Drops Lampard Hint

Lampard’s uncle, Harry Redknapp, who is vastly experienced and close to the Derby owner Mel Morris, has suggested that it’s nailed on for his nephew to take command at Stamford Bridge.

It seems a no-brainer – with the idea that Lampard’s lack of managerial experience is cancelled out by the fact that he knows Chelsea inside out and the belief that the club is looking to change its philosophy after years of quick-fire hiring and sacking.

These kind of opportunities have to be seized when they come along because they may never arrive again. And Lampard is said to have told owner Abramovich that he wants at least two years to put his philosophy and ideas into place in London SW6.

Cup competitions look a more promising hope for Lampard to achieve quick success, although City, Liverpool and Spurs are again ahead of Chelsea in the FA Cup betting.

William Hill have the west Londoners at 7/1 while Betfair make it 9/1.

In the EFL Cup, it’s a similar story with City, Liverpool and Tottenham leading the way – and Manchester United also ahead of Chelsea, who are fifth favourites. Betfair have them at 8/1.

There have been 15 managerial changes at Chelsea since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

He has had no compunction about axing some of the biggest names in the management game such as Carlo Ancelotti, Big Phil Scolari and, of course, Jose Mourinho – twice.

New Dawn For Blues?

The hope of the supporters is that the arrival of Lampard will signal a new, more patient direction. Certainly, his stature at the club would warrant such an approach.

The signals are promising, with former players Petr Cech and Claude Makélélé also set to return in coaching roles as the hierarchy seeks to build a "dynastic" set-up off the field.

But as a relative newcomer to the dug-out, Lampard will be battling with some of the most highly-respected and experienced names in the management business such as City’s Guardiola, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

If he gets the Chelsea job, he would, in fact, be the first Englishman to permanently lead any of the current “Big Six,” since his uncle Harry Redknapp left Spurs in 2012 – although Tim Sherwood had a brief six-month spell in charge there in 2015.

Chelsea’s directors have suggested before that they want a change of direction. But still the managers came and went.

The only proof that Lampard will benefit from a changed viewpoint will come if Abramovich does indeed allow him time.

Or if he is instantly successful.

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