Frank Lampard: Why the Chelsea coach should be named Premier League Manager of the Season

Lampard should be named manager of the season

Frank Lampard's first season in charge at Chelsea was nothing short of a major success. 

The club legend arrived from Derby County last summer with just 12 months of coaching experience under his belt. 

Expectations were set low for this campaign due to a number of factors and it's fair to say a top-four finish - and an FA Cup final to look forward to - exceeded those expectations. 

Jurgen Klopp may have guided Liverpool to their first Premier League title and Brenden Rodgers may have turned Leicester into a European force, but Lampard's effort can't be overlooked. 

In fact, there are grounds to suggest that the Chelsea boss should be named Manager of the Season ahead of his rivals.

Why you may ask? Well, let's take a look. 

The transfer ban

Let's start with the most obvious. When Lampard arrived at Chelsea, the club couldn't sign any players. 

Lampard arrived at Chelsea last July

The boss couldn't strengthen an already thin squad, even if he wanted to, while his rivals were spending some serious money. 

At the start of the season, the suggestion was that the Blues could seriously fall behind their close competitors... but that wasn't the case. 

Losing Eden Hazard

On top of the transfer ban, Chelsea had just lost star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. He contributed to 49% of the club's goals in the 2018/19 season. 

Hazard left Chelsea last summer

Not only did they lose the Belgian's ridiculous goal contributions, but they also lost their talisman. The player others looked to, the one who could create something from nothing. 

Yes, Chelsea have missed Hazard - any team would - but now a number of players are starting to stand out as potential replacements, most notably, Christian Pulisic. 

Believing in the academy 

It's no real secret that Chelsea have one of the best academies in England - if not Europe. But young players were rarely given a chance in the first team at Stamford Bridge - until this season.

Mount and Abraham came from Chelsea's academy

Yes, the transfer ban did force Lampard's hand, but he gave debuts to eight academy graduates this season, more than any other Chelsea manager ever has.  

Just in case you can't remember, the eight youngsters are: Mason Mount, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Tino Anjorin, Ian Maatsen, Tariq Lamptey, Marc Guehi and Armando Broja. 

Beating world-class coaches

There seems little doubt that Lampard has the tools to become a world-class coach himself one day, but already in his first season at Chelsea, he's beaten some of the best around. 

Lampard has gone toe-to-toe with some of the best in the game and won

He boasts wins over Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti, Brendan Rodgers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mikel Arteta in his debut season and has even done the double over Jose Mourinho.

Tactical masterclass and surviving injuries 

Picking up wins against those managers prove Lampard is doing something right.

His tactics might not have always been spot on this season, but post-lockdown, almost every substitution the Chelsea manager's made has been spot on. 

Against Aston Villa, Man City, Crystal Palace and even in the defeat to Liverpool - Lampard's subs changed the game for the better. 

Lampard's subs have been spot on

On top of that, the Blues boss had a number of injuries to deal with throughout the campaign, with key players like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, N'Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour sidelined at times.

FA Cup final and a top-four finish

Management is a results business - and Lampard delivered in his first season. As mentioned earlier, expectations were set pretty low at the start of the campaign. 

So to deliver Champions League qualification and an FA Cup final at the end of it should certainly be seen as a major success. 

With the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and possibly even Kai Havertz joining this summer, there's absolutely no reason to suggest Chelsea won't challenge next season. 

Chelsea should challenge next season

Of course, the obvious choice for the Premier League Manager of the Season award would be Jurgen Klopp. After all, he's guided Liverpool to their first-ever title and won the LMA prize. 

But let's not under-estimate what Lampard has done at Chelsea. While it is unlikely he'll beat Klopp to the top award, there's certainly reason to suggest he should be in the conversation. 

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