Frank Lampard has taken his first managerial job with the Chelsea and England legend signing a three-year deal as Derby County’s new boss.
[ MORE: Gerrard takes over at Rangers ]
Derby missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18 as they lost in the playoff semifinals over two legs to Fulham and then manager Gary Rowett left the Rams for recently-relegated Stoke City.
Lampard, 39, only retired from playing in 2016 after two seasons at New York City FC. He is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer (211 goals) and won every major trophy available during his 13-year career with the Blues.
Speaking about his arrival at the Midlands club, Lampard is keeping his cards close to his chest as to what he hopes to achieve with the team who were last in the Premier League in 2007/08.
“We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and Academy talent we have at Pride Park,” Lampard said. “This is my first job as a manager but I’ve been working towards this for a long time. I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me.
“I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is – but I’m here to work hard. I’m really looking forward to getting started and to the challenge ahead.”
Lampard has followed in the footsteps of his former international teammate Steven Gerrard, as both of the Premier League legends have left their roles as pundits with BT Sport to step into management with Gerrard taking over at Glasgow Rangers earlier this month.
The former West Ham, Chelsea, Man City and New York City FC midfielder isn’t talking up this role that much but given Derby’s several close calls with promotion to the PL (they’ve lost in the playoffs in three of the last five seasons) the Rams are obviously trying something a little bit different to try and get back to the top-flight.
Yes, Lampard’s playing career was glittering as he ranks fourth all time in the PL in terms of goals and assists, plus third all-time in PL appearances and he won 107 caps for the English national team. Yet this is a whole different ball game.
Hiring Lampard is a gamble for Derby but since his retirement, and during the latter stages of his playing career, he was collecting his coaching badges and always expressed his desire to manage.
Considering his considerable connection to both Chelsea and the City Football Group, Lampard may well aim to bring in plenty of youngsters on loan from those clubs as reports suggest that due to Financial Fair Play restrictions Derby may be forced to sell some of their top performers.
Lampard will now follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Harry Redknapp, as he steps into management with the main aim of clinching promotion to the Premier League.