As Maurizio Sarri’s exit draws ever nearer, Chelsea’s search for a new manager must necessarily start making some progress as well. And while Frank Lampard remains the consensus favorite, another former Chelsea name has been mentioned a few times as well.
Steve Holland may have even less actual head-coaching experience than Super Frank, but the former Chelsea and current England assistant has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on practice that undoubtedly qualify him to make the step up to manager. His current boss, Gareth Southgate very much agrees with that notion, but is hoping that Holland doesn’t quite want to take that step just yet.
“I am sure at some point in the future he is going to want to be a manager and take that opportunity. I don’t believe that would be now, because he is very committed to the work we are doing, looking forward to next summer and hopefully this team will develop. But unquestionably, I’m sure he is going to get the same desires.”
Southgate would obviously not stand in his right hand man’s way were he to choose to leave and strike out on his own, but just like the England head coach remains unwavering in his commitment to the England job, he’s hoping the same is true for his long-time partner.
“I’m committed to England, simple as that. I don’t need to hedge my bets in keeping doors open or keeping things alive. There’s no way that I would leave England at this moment in time, to take any job.”
“[Holland] is hugely important to everything we do. We are probably the two that live and breathe every single minute of preparation for England, selection of players, tactical preparation, because we are the two people who are full-time on that side. The hours and the days and the nights and the early mornings help me to understand that literally becomes constant. For me he is hugely important in terms of his experience, his knowledge, the way he delivers the coaching as well.”
“I also understand when you have good staff then they’re going to be coveted by other people. That’s a healthy sign because you don’t want bad staff who nobody else wants. And I always would have to find a balance between allowing somebody the opportunity to do something they want to do — somebody who has given me massive support and I couldn’t thank him enough — with having the desire not to lose them. Because you know they’re an integral part of what we do.”
-Gareth Southgate; source: Telegraph
This is all speculation for now of course. But Sarri’s departure is all but confirmed and Chelsea cannot stand still. Given the circumstances, this is in fact a great opportunity for proper long-term planning. Whether it’s Lampard or Holland or whoever else leading the team at the start of next season, we cannot leave things to the last minute like last summer.
The season starts in two months, preseason in about a month. The first confirmed preseason friendly is in six weeks. The fixtures for the 2019-20 Premier League season will be released on Thursday. Before you know it, the new season will be here!