Opinion is split on whether or not Frank Lampard deserved more time at Stamford Bridge, but the former Blues midfielder has been left out of work after Chelsea’s poor recent run of form. Lampard was parachuted into the hot seat at the club where he became a legendary midfielder having only completed one season in management with Derby County in the Championship. The 42-year-old will likely have plenty of options and might prefer to take some time out to rethink his career path, but what are the possible next moves for Frank Lampard?
What will Frank Lampard do next?
Lampard was arguably not qualified to be in charge of either Derby or Chelsea, so why not go one step further and take over as England’s next manager?
Gareth Southgate’s contract might run until the 2022 World Cup but a poor performance at this summer’s European Championship could conceivably result in his deal being terminated early. As one of England’s most-capped players of all time – he made more than 100 appearances – Lampard has plenty of Three Lions experience as a player.
Surely an underwhelming period as Chelsea boss would rule him out from the running to be the next England boss, but Frank Lampard has fallen on his feet before and he likely will do again in the future. Stranger things have happened…
A more realistic next move for Lampard might be to Palace, who are mulling over whether or not to extend the contract of their veteran manager Roy Hodgson.
While the 73-year-old seems set to secure another season in the Premier League, his deal expires at the end of the season and the Eagles might decide it is time to try out a fresher face. Selhurst Park could be a lower-pressure location for Lampard to cut his teeth, with talented players including Wilfried Zaha and Ebere Eze to build a team around.
A lack of available finance could be an issue, but Lampard performed far better working under a transfer embargo at Chelsea than when he was furnished with over £200 million of new players. Staying in London might also be appealing to Lampard, who has a second baby on the way with his wife Christine.
The next vacancy in the Premier League could well be at Newcastle United, whose boss Steve Bruce appears increasingly beleaguered amid a terrible run of results for the Magpies.
Newcastle remain a massive club despite their struggles in recent years, although the failed takeover earlier in the season means money is still tight at St. James’ Park.
Budget-conscious owner Mike Ashley would likely have to dig deep into his pockets in order to tempt Lampard to make the move, with Bruce likely to be replaced by a much cheaper option.
Back to the Championship
In hindsight, the Chelsea job came up too soon for Lampard. A single season at Derby, in which his side lost in the Championship play-offs, was not enough to amass the relevant experience.
Returning to the Championship could therefore be a good idea if Lampard is serious about having a long career as a manager. His former England team-mate Wayne Rooney is now in charge of the Rams and the grind of the second tier is seen as an ideal learning curve.
There is currently a vacancy at Sheffield Wednesday, though Lampard rocking up at Hillsborough does seem far-fetched.
A bolder move might be to go north of the border, with Celtic manager Neil Lennon seemingly on the brink of the sack after an awful attempt at winning their 10th straight Scottish title.
The newly available Rafa Benitez is a strong favourite to be the next Celtic manager but could the club opt to put their faith in Frank Lampard instead?
After all, his ex-England colleague Steven Gerrard has done a phenomenal job across the city at Rangers, rebuilding the club and turning them into champions-elect. Having both Lampard and Gerrard would be huge for the profile of the league, if nothing else.
Take up punditry
There is probably no need for Lampard to rush into his next managerial role given he will have received a large payoff from Chelsea. Lampard could instead opt to follow peers such as Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen into television, to which he is no stranger after three years on ITV panel show Play To The Whistle.
Returning to the dugout after some time away might just be Lampard’s best option and he could use the spare time to produce more children’s books.