Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard has today been appointed Derby County’s new manager on a three-year deal, but will he be a success?
The truth is no one knows. There is a long list of top-class former players who have failed at management. However, there is just as long a list of former top class players who have succeeded.
Note we are talking about top-class players. For some reason, those are the players that clubs most readily turn to when in fact there is a long list of players of mediocre ability, below the top-level or with no playing experience at all who have done rather well in management, Jose Mourinho being a case in point. Meanwhile, a host of top quality players simply have not made that transition. Just look at the list of former Manchester United players who have struggled.
However, there is every reason to think that Lampard will be a success. He has played under more world-class managers than most, learning from the likes of Mourinho, Ancelotti, Capello, Hiddink and Benitez.
He must surely have picked up some pointers from that who’s who of managers. Their breadth of knowledge will have been invaluable to him, and the diversity of ideas to which he will have been exposed must also give him an advantage over those who learned under a single manager such as Sir Alex Ferguson.
Of course, Ferguson is a legend but he is just one man with one viewpoint and any player under him is effectively only getting that one viewpoint and not a range of knowledge and experience, which is something Lampard has had in abundance.
Lampard goes to Derby with all the knowledge he has picked up from a wide range of managerial talent, and that must be a great tool with which to be armed. Let us hope, for Derby’s sake, that he uses it wisely.