Frank Lampard has been given the green light by Derby County to negotiate with Chelsea over a possible return to Stamford Bridge as manager; and former Chelsea captain, John Terry is confident his former team-mate is the best man for the job.
The Villa assistant manager believes that given the chance, Lampard could persuade young talents like Callum Hudson-Odoi to stay at the club, and also bring hope to Chelsea’s academy youngsters that they would have opportunities to shine with the first team.
‘After the season he has had with Derby and with Chelsea’s transfer ban in place, there is no-one better equipped than Frank to succeed at Chelsea. It is perfect timing for him and the club,’ said Terry.
‘Frank was under pressure to succeed at Chelsea the day he arrived from West Ham and he never hid from that. He reveled in it and went on to become Chelsea’s greatest-ever player.
‘What made him that player was his desire to drain every ounce out of his body and that of everyone around him in training. Then, when he was done, he’d go out and practise free-kicks and shooting on his own for another half hour.
‘People would be amazed at his goal return but they just didn’t realize how much dedication was put into that and his whole game. He is just as exacting on himself now as a manager.’
Although aware of how Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich is ruthless with axing managers when results left him unimpressed, the former England defender claims Lampard’s quality as manager was evident in the Championship, where he narrowly missed out on qualification to the Premier League with Derby.
‘I don’t believe there will be any trepidation from supporters. They love him; Lamps is a legend and now is the right time for him to come home.
‘Roman is a successful businessman because he is so demanding but Frank will demand nothing less from himself.’
‘He would welcome that responsibility to make Chelsea more competitive and provide the stability the club has probably been lacking.
‘He has the tactical knowledge, enthusiasm and will have the backing of the players and fans to prove what he can do.’
Terry also spoke about how appointing the former midfielder would have an impact on the future destination of Hudson-Odoi, who is currently on the radar of German giants, Bayern Munich.
‘You could see by the improvements made by Mason Mount at Derby last season that Frank will have an impact on young players and improve them,’ Terry continues.
‘For some time, perhaps only myself and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had come through the academy to become regulars and that has probably left many young players questioning their future. Callum Hudson-Odoi will be assured he has a big role to play at Chelsea.
‘Having Frank in charge and the transfer ban will give young players throughout the academy belief that there is a genuine pathway into Chelsea’s first team.
‘Frank and Jody have tremendous knowledge of the youth set-up. I guarantee they will watch as many Under-23 and Under-18 matches at Chelsea as possible and open potential opportunities for the academy players. In fact I think it will be an exciting time to see what can happen.
‘Frank has always been a great communicator. In the dressing room we would have Didier Drogba or Michael Ballack or Petr Cech – they may have been big voices but they would listen to Frank.
‘He would have this calm demeanour and way of delivering a message that would empower you and I’m positive he will have the same effect on these Chelsea players, whether young or older.
‘Sure, Chelsea have just lost one of the best players in the world in Eden Hazard; Liverpool and Manchester City have spent well but Frank will still inherit a talented squad and that will only be stronger for integrating some of the players who did well out on loan last season.’