Artwork by @chapulana

Few things in football are more appealing to a clubs fan base than a former legend of the club returning to them in a coaching capacity. This is the coaching equivalent of a player from the youth system making his first-team debut and going on to become a regular. Perhaps the most famous of these appointments in recent memory has been Pep Guardiola at Barcelona. The Spaniard had, however, experienced a season as a coach with the Barcelona B side to get his first exposure to coaching. There are some similarities between that appointment and the decision at Chelsea to appoint their former midfield star Frank Lampard as the replacement for the outgoing Italian Maurizio Sarri.

Lampard, like Guardiola, was a world-class midfield player who spent the majority of his playing career at one club before leaving towards the end of his playing days to experience football in a new environment. Lampard has, as with Guardiola, completed a single season of first-team coaching to this point, with Derby County in the English Championship. There are still a number of questions surrounding the ability of Lampard to coach at the highest level but the attraction of the Chelsea power brokers to their former player is obvious.

In this tactical analysis, we will reflect on the tactical lessons learnt from Lampard’s first season as a coach and consider how his philosophy will be applied at Stamford Bridge.

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