Former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder, Frank Lampard was on Thursday unveiled as Derby County’s manager for the 2018-19 season, with him signing a three-year deal with the Rams. He replaces Gary Rowett, who quit the club to join Stoke City.
Lampard had retired from football in 2017 and has been actively working towards getting a UEFA A license for coaching. He spent a lot of time training with the youth academy of former club, Chelsea. This is where he met Jody Morris, who he chose to be his deputy at Derby County.
Morris led the Chelsea U-18’s to seven trophies in just over two years in charge and Lampard, who had seen it live was visibly impressed with him. He suggested Morris to be his understudy and was granted his wish.
Speaking about his new assignment, Lampard said, “I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity. I have spent considerable time discussing the role and the club’s objectives with the chairman and board members.”
He also outlined the club’s aspirations for the upcoming season. “We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and academy talent we have at Pride Park.”
Considering that he is a Premier League legend, he surely could have secured a job with a Premier League club. But Lampard admitted he did not mind grinding it out by managing a Championship club. “I’m certainly not scared to get my hands dirty slightly lower down because that’s the reality of it, you have to prove yourself.”
“It’s my dream to manage at the top. There are a lot of different routes you can take, Steven Gerrard working with the young lads at Liverpool for instance. Do you step down into the Championship or lower leagues and try and take a job on at that level?”
“I wouldn’t want to go into anything without setting those sights as high as I possibly can”, added Lampard.
Lampard’s appointment follows that of Gerrard’s at Rangers in the Scottish Premiership and Ryan Giggs as Wales manager a few months back. It marks a new chapter in the lives of these legends and they would want to emulate what they did in their playing careers.