Managing at the top level of English football can be hard, just ask all the managers that get sacked season upon season. Coaches look to implement their own philosophies and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. However, one thing is crucial, if they don’t work you need to ensure you adapt or change them to better suit the team. This is the one aspect of managing that Frank Lampard must ensure he gets right at Chelsea next season, should he be appointed.
Lampard is looking to complete a move to Chelsea to take over the vacant manager’s role after Derby gave Chelsea permission to speak to the Englishman. If you watched Derby County play under Lampard you’ll know that he has his own style of play. The 41-year-old is very clear that he wants his teams to play a possession-based game. However, he must be wary of becoming stubborn regarding his style of play and must learn to adapt it or even change it for certain games next season.
This was exactly the problem that befell former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who was extremely stubborn in the implementation of his style of play last season. The Italian held a big belief it was his way or the highway for the Chelsea squad when it came to adapting to his brand of football. This could be seen in the lack of appearances from Gary Cahill and Danny Drinkwater, with the latter not making a single appearance. It was never truly successful, and as a result, Chelsea struggled to cope with the Italian’s style of play last season.
The most stubborn decision Sarri made was playing Jorginho in defensive midfield, as a deep-lying playmaker, as opposed to playing N’golo Kante, for whom it was his natural position. The plan failed to work as Jorginho struggled to perform defensively, which was evidently clear during some of Chelsea’s more shocking results, with the Italian’s midfielders performance questioned. Playing Jorginho in front of the defence clearly had adverse effects on Chelsea, as the defence suffered numerous times last season, as Chelsea failed to beat any of the Premier League’s top ten clubs away from home.
Lampard has been hugely successful in implementing his style of play at Derby, with the club reaching the Championship play-off final. He must be cautious about how he approaches games like Bournemouth and Manchester City away, games where Sarri refused to adapt and Chelsea suffered as a result. Being able to adapt your style of play to ensure your team gets the required result is crucial for him in being successful at Stamford Bridge. He must get it right or face backlashes from the fans who love him and a short-lived tenure.