In Depth

Frank Lampard stars as Sky Sports pundit with Jamie Carragher

Former Chelsea midfielder performs well on Monday Night Football as he watches his old side fail again

Chelsea's season went from bad to worse against Leicester on Monday night, but former Blues legend Frank Lampard had an altogether more positive evening as he made his debut as a frontline pundit on Sky Sports.

With Gary Neville having departed for Spain, Lampard stepped in to fill the gap alongside Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football and put in an encouraging performance.

Lampard "did more than enough to suggest he can make the position his own", says Rory Smith of The Times.

Getting the former England skipper in was a canny move, says Alan Tyers of the Daily Telegraph. "With Lampard’s playing days coming to a gentle stop via the semi-retirement of Major League Soccer, and Gary Neville's chair up for grabs, it looks like Sky Sports are putting two and two together."

Craig Bellamy filled in alongside Carragher last week, but Lampard outshone the Welshman with punditry that was "stylish and unshowy", says Tyers.

"Lampard was well marshalled by his senior colleague... proving once again that, with TV pundits as well as central defence pairings, one good one can raise the level of a raw partner."

Both Tyers and Smith were impressed by Lampard's analysis of Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who he believes needs to develop his defensive game to play in a midfield two.

Some of his analysis was straightforward, and his loyalty to Jose Mourinho was clear, but he also fared well on "more esoteric" topics, says Smith of the Times, allowing Carragher "to take the lead on Bournemouth's set-piece routines and offering a detailed explanation of the various roles he occupied in midfield in his decade at Chelsea".

The only downside was his apparent lack of confidence in the technological gizmos at his disposal in the Sky Sports studio.

"Lampard knew the limits of his ability during his playing days and he appears to be following suit as a pundit if his trepidation with technology is anything to go by," says Eurosport, which also notes that it took some time for Carragher to learn the ropes.

"Taking a back seat on this occasion may have saved Lampard some embarrassment, but if he wants a permanent gig he may have to brush up on his gadgets."

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