Let’s play a quick game. I say three words, and you tell me the first manager that comes to mind.
Perhaps you could say any successful manager’s name at the end of an inspiring and unlikely cup run. Or perhaps you could say the obvious one that the last of three word should inspire.
For Derby County owner Mel Morris, the answer is obviously Frank Lampard.
“Every managerial appointment is a gamble and whatever happens now, he’s made history here. Frank has brought the buzz back to the place. He has created a special environment. It wasn’t about him being a celebrity, it was about somebody giving us excitement. He has an aura, like all great managers.”
That aura will be a ball of nervous energy on the touchline at Wembley this afternoon as Super Frank looks to take Derby back up to the Premier League. Opposite him will be an Aston Villa just as familiar with playoff disappointment. For every winner, there must be a loser.
But as much success as Lampard has already achieved this season, more time at Derby would serve him well, claims the owner who would have no hard feelings if that was not to be the case.
“One day he is going to be [back] at Chelsea, I am sure, because of the legend he was there. The longer he is here with success, the easier it is to go there without risk because Chelsea is a big club with massive expectations.
”I would always be pleased we gave him the opportunity, proud of what he has achieved with us, and if that happened sooner rather than later I would just hope it works out for him. There would be absolutely no ill feeling and we’d understand it’s probably an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.”
But not just yet. At least not for a few more days.
“But right now, in the short term, Chelsea have a massive game [the Europa League final] coming up this week, and so have we, and because of that both clubs would have to be ridiculous to even be having a conversation around that.”
-Mel Morris; source: Telegraph
And so we turn our attentions to football. Silly Season can wait.