If they hadn’t already, Derby County have now apparently become resigned to losing manager Frank Lampard back to Chelsea, and have thus accordingly stepped up their search for a replacement.
Former Leeds and Newcastle United midfielder Lee Bowyer had looked the odds-on favorite for that role until yesterday, when he did a complete 180 and signed a one-year contract with Charlton Athletic, less than 24 hours after the club released a statement that they failed to agree terms with him!
Since then, Derby have been linked with several ex-Premier League players, including John Eustace and Chelsea’s own John Terry, both of whom served as assistant coaches in the Championship last season, the former at QPR, the latter at Aston Villa. Today, the Times linked former Liverpool midfielder and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to the job as well, although Stevie G has apparently already rejected that approach, probably on account of not wanting to appear as a second-rate Frank Lampard once again (h/t: Alex McGovern for that joke).
Steven Gerrard turns down the opportunity to be a second rate Frank Lampard for the second time in his life https://t.co/3LT8du6Gwv— Alex McGovern (@AlexMcGovern11) June 18, 2019
While Lampard is said to prefer taking the Chelsea job over keeping his Derby one, and the Rams are not expected to stand in Lampard’s way if he does decide to leave, the longer they go without securing a replacement, the more likely it could be that Lampard actually ends up staying. He did re-commit himself to his current job once already this summer, although that was under the heightened emotions of a playoff final. But it’s certainly not a simple decision for him, and the chance of a high-profile failure has deterred many a professional before. Super Frank is surely made of sterner stuff than that, but it’s not like this will be his only chance at the Chelsea job in his career — even if it might be his best chance.