At the rate Chelsea go through head coaches, it’s a good thing that many of our former players are interested in that side of the business as well — just in case we ever run out of “top” candidates as the doomsayers have been predicting for much of Abramovich’s tenure (though we’ve yet to come close to that happening).
In any case, adding soon to that pool of eligible candidates will be Sir Frank of Lampard, Second of His Name (honorary title), who is getting close to finishing his studies for his coaching badges.
“My A Licence will be finished in the spring, in the next few months or so. That gives me the opportunity to work. The Pro Licence will start in the summer — that is what you need to manage in the Champions League and will take a year.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Evening Standard
Part of the curriculum is hands-on practice, which is why we’ve seen Lampard back repeatedly at Cobham this season, working with the U18s and younger age groups within the scope of his coursework.
But Lampard has set his sights above youth level coaching, and has already had preliminary talks with Oxford United board member Dave Jones last summer about a possible role at the League One side. It never went further than that as Lamps didn’t have his licence just yet, but as it happens, the Oxford job is once again open. But Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer said he’s not a candidate ... currently.
“I had conversations with Dave Jones, who is on the board at Oxford, in the summer about the role and it went as far as that. They were just conversations but there is no truth in the current link.”
Lampard always seemed to fall well within the category of “future manager”, so it’s good to see him going down that road instead of the easier and much cushier punditry gig. Once he has his badges, surely they will be plenty of offers (though unlike Giggs or Neville, he’d well advised to not be afraid to drop down a level or two for his first job).
Of course, the links with a future role as Chelsea manager have started last year already and will only intensify in the future. That said, I’m a bit conflicted about that possibility. On the one hand, he’s a club legend, he’s intelligent, hard-working and no doubt he’ll make an excellent manager someday. On the other hand, getting hired by Chelsea is the first step towards getting fired by Chelsea. And that would be painful.
But that’s a long way away. In the meantime, congrats to Lamps for his upcoming graduation and entrance into (hopefully) a long and prosperous second career.