Frank Lampard is home: Chelsea fans celebrate hero’s return
Blues legend is confirmed as the new head coach at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have announced that club legend Frank Lampard has returned to Stamford Bridge as their new head coach.
The 41-year-old, who was in charge at Derby County, has succeeded Maurizio Sarri after signing a three-year contract.
Announcing Lampard’s appointment, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “It gives us great pleasure to welcome Frank back to Chelsea as head coach.
“Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game.
“After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so.
“We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”
Lampard: I cannot wait to get started
After making 648 appearances and winning 11 major trophies as a player for Chelsea Lampard was always favourite to replace Sarri, who has returned to Italy with Juventus.
Despite the loss of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and the prospect of a two-window transfer ban, Lampard is excited for the new season in which Chelsea will play Champions League football.
“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” said Lampard. “Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared. However, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.
“I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”
He is joined at Stamford Bridge by two of his staff from Derby - assistant manager Jody Morris and first-team coach Chris Jones. Former Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech was also recently appointed Chelsea’s technical advisor.
Lampard’s first Premier League game in charge of Chelsea is a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on 11 August.
Press reactions: a huge gamble for Abramovich and Lampard
Phil McNulty, BBC Sport
“Roman Abramovich’s ruthless approach to ruling Chelsea has always been rooted in brutal reality - so appointing Frank Lampard as his next manager almost qualifies as the Russian showing a romantic side. And make no mistake, it is not only a huge gamble for Abramovich, it is exactly the same for Lampard. This is high risk for all parties.”
Pat Nevin, BBC Radio 5 Live
“Football is littered with the names of club legends who went back to manage at their spiritual homes. When it doesn’t work out the dirty deed has to be done and for a while at least the legend is tarnished. I never want it to happen to Frank because I like and respect so much of what he has done and also the man he has turned out to be.”
Matt Barlow, Daily Mail
“Frank Lampard lived through one revolution at Chelsea and has been entrusted to shape the next one. He was playing at Stamford Bridge when Roman Abramovich bought the club and threw money at the team until they had become champions of Europe. This project, however, will take its first steps in a very different style. Chelsea are fighting a transfer ban and unable to raid the market to sign players but Lampard will be aware of what lies ahead.”
Lewis Jones, Sky Sports
“They say never go back. Is this a dangerous move for Lampard? No matter what he achieved as a player, one of his first jobs will be to convince the doubters that he is capable of leading an elite group of players and the problems that came with it. He will need to learn very quickly about how to deal with a dressing room packed with top talent and a fair bit of ego. The dynamic will be severely different to Derby, where many of the players will have had instant respect for a player that won it all at club level.”
Welcome home ‘Super Frank’
Here we take a look at how Chelsea fans reacted on Twitter to the return of a Stamford Bridge legend.