Chelsea’s season has seen more twists and turns than a Martin Scorsese flick. £600m and two managers later, The Departed Graham Potter has given way to a list of Usual Suspects. Upwards of seven names, from Julian Nagelsmann to Luis Enrique, have been headed up as potential options. But even Blues fans with a Sixth Sense wouldn’t have guessed that club legend and former manager Frank Lampard would come in until the end of the season to take a shot at the Champions League knockout stages.
Whilst Lampard’s managerial stock couldn’t be much lower following a dismal spell at Everton, the Merseyside club is a poisoned chalice for any manager right now, and Chelsea’s record goalscorer still holds a lot of goodwill at the West London club. Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali know any upturn in form predicated by Lampard’s return will help dispel the large sways of discontent, albeit temporarily, whilst they carry out an ‘exhaustive’ search for the club’s next permanent manager.
Lampard’s previous spell in the dugout with Chelsea is well documented – there were high-profile arrivals, many of whom are still at the club, a lack of direction but a Champions League title still on the line. Sound familiar? Football’s penchant for a redemption arc is on full display this season, with Lampard’s return perhaps the most striking of them all. Whilst many Chelsea fans will acknowledge his tactical shortcomings, they will also not be swayed in their belief that anything is possible. Ultimately is this not what football fans live for?
Even in the ever-predictable age of post-Super League football, the prospect of one of Chelsea’s most decorated players coming back to win club football’s most coveted trophy as a manager is enough to stir the hearts of even the most cynical fan. Truth be told, it’s unlikely that such a bloated squad of egos and styles managed by a man with no experience of navigating Champions League knockout football will be able to see their way past Real Madrid. But the hope is enough for many fans.
For Boehly and Eghbali, this move gives them much-needed breathing room in their search for a new manager, something their previous decisions haven’t afforded them. For Chelsea’s fans, this will go some way to restoring their connection to the club whilst offering a potentially monumental moment in Istanbul this June.
By: Sam Tabuteau / @TabuteauS
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Darren Walsh / Chelsea FC