As reported by BBC and The Guardian, Derby County Football Club have excused manager Frank Lampard from training in order to allow him to speak with Chelsea over the possibility of joining the Blues as their new boss.
The news comes after it was already confirmed by the Rams that an approach had been made, and now, it seems like just a matter of time before the switch is outright confirmed. Below is the statement that has been issued by Derby County themselves.
“Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible.
The first few days of pre-season training will be focused on fitness training and will continue as planned under the guidance of the fitness, medical, conditioning and sports science teams at the club’s Training Centre.
On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager.”
That would appear to be as clear cut as you could possibly hope for your club to be, with full transparency being utilised throughout the course of this process. Now, the big question is who Derby are going to be bringing in to replace him. Well, that’s the big question for them.
For Chelsea, fans are now going to be worrying what kind of manager they’re going to be getting with their former midfield hero. We all saw what he was capable of in the Championship, but the Premier League is a whole other level entirely and he’s going to be well aware of that.
The pressure that comes with being a manager at this level isn’t lost on him by any stretch of the imagination, and while some would argue that this move is being done too early on in his managerial career, he seems to be ready to take on the challenge.
The hero returns
The expectation would be that Chelsea finish, at the very least, in the top four, and that they also put up a decent fight in their return to Champions League football. One way or another the fans are going to be more on board with Lamps than they were with Maurizio Sarri, of course, but that isn’t exactly the point here.
The point is that we are in a new era of football management, in which it’s not unusual to see players that we watched grow up now turn into successful managers. They don’t always make a strong transition, but the difference for Frank is that he’s already been able to prove himself at a lower level.
Derby fans are going to be unhappy to see him go after he was able to lead them to the Championship play-off final, but at the same time, they’ll understand that this is the kind of opportunity that is simply too good to turn down.