While nobody will be overly shocked to hear that Chelsea finally decided to move on from Frank Lampard, the timing of the decision was a strange one.
There have been so many poor results where a sacking in the aftermath would’ve been expected, but it does seem a tad harsh to do it after a solid FA Cup win over Luton Town.
It seems fair to suggest that the delay was merely sorting out an agreement with Thomas Tuchel rather than giving Lampard more time to turn things around, but it leaves you wondering where he could go next.
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It’s easy to forget that he does have some pedigree as a manager due to his time at Derby County so he wasn’t purely hired because of his history with Chelsea, so there should be some interest in offering him a new role.
There have been some suggestions that he could be in the frame to succeed Neil Lennon at Celtic, and it might not be the worst idea in the world:
Frank Lampard is now in contention to replace Neil Lennon as Celtic managerhttps://t.co/YKGQYtJ4o7
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 25, 2021
Celtic have become an absolute basket case of a club this season, while their attempt to go for a historic tenth straight title was utterly derailed by a mix of arrogance, complacency and incompetence at all levels.
It’s become clear that Neil Lennon can’t last much longer due to his lack of tactical plan and being far too loyal to underperforming players, so it means that Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have pretty much wrapped up the title already.
Lampard and Gerrard have some history from their playing days so that could come into Lampard’s thinking about his next role, while he can also see that Scottish football isn’t a dead end job anymore.
Brendan Rodgers earned his move to Leicester and he’s now incredibly highly rated again, while Steven Gerrard’s work at Ibrox makes him a genuine contender for the Liverpool job when Jurgen Klopp finally moves on.
From Celtic’s point of view Lampard will be seen as a risk due to his work this season, so they would need to look at his early work at Stamford Bridge and wonder if that could translate to Celtic Park.
In Lampard’s first season he did a good job of developing the younger players and giving them a chance in the first team, but that was completely derailed when he was handed several new signings without much thought of how they would fit into the team.
He created a solid team with the likes of Tomori, James, Abraham and Mount all playing a regular role, so he clearly knows how to identify and develop young players.
The problem for Celtic would be that Lampard seemed to collapse when expectations were heightened and the board wanted immediate success – that’s something he would have to bring at Celtic every single season.
If Celtic could be convinced that Lampard lost his job because he was undermined by the playing squad and a scatter-gun approach to recruitment then there could be a case for bringing him in for an interview at least.
His reputation for developing younger players will be vital if Celtic want to return to the days of signing up talented young players and improving them before selling for a profit, while he’s also a big enough name that should satisfy the fans after a season of serious disappointment.
There’s certainly reason to believe that Lampard could be a success in Glasgow, but it would be worth giving him a break until the summer before making that change.