‘Lampard to Chelsea talk is ridiculous’ – Former Blues midfielder sees fans blind to problems

A return to Stamford Bridge for a former favourite continues to be mooted, but Craig Burley believes the wrong approach is being favoured

Chelsea continue to be heavily linked with a move to bring Frank Lampard back to the club as their new manager, but Craig Burley says such talk would be “derided and be ridiculous” if there were not such strong ties between the Blues and the current Derby County boss.

A new coach is required at Stamford Bridge, with Maurizio Sarri having decided to return to his native Italy at Juventus after just one season in England.

Speculation suggesting that Lampard could return to west London had been building long before the official announcement of a change in the dugout was made.

Having spent 13 years with the Blues as a player, the ex-England international is considered to be an ideal candidate for a high-profile post.

Lampard has, however, spent just 12 months in management with Derby and Burley is not convinced that familiar faces are the way forward for those clubs with serious issues to address.

The former Chelsea midfielder told ESPN FC: “It’s amazing if you compare two guys going into big clubs, [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer and Lampard, they’re both level-headed, intelligent, experienced football guys. 

“But the perception is incredible among the supporters, it almost clouds the bigger picture and blindfolds them. 

“If Solskjaer and Lampard, particularly Frank Lampard – if he had no Chelsea connection and had one year’s managerial experience at Derby County, this would be derided. 

“Ultimately Derby failed but it was a more-than-decent first season. But if there was no connection for that football club, this appointment would be derided and would be ridiculous. 

“It’s a crazy notion that a lot of fans seem to have that because a guy played for a club, he understands the club.”

When it was put to him that current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had no experience when handed the reins at Barcelona in 2008, Burley added: “He did, but he did.

“If my memory serves me right with Guardiola, there was problems at Barcelona when he stepped up from coaching within the system. 

“But there was a whole bunch of players that were ready or just about to come through including one of the two greatest players of our generation [in Lionel Messi]. 

“That analogy and analysis that a lot of people throw out, particularly when the Solskjaer appointment was made, is just not going to stand up to scrutiny. 

“To say, ‘Frank Lampard’s our guy.’ I find it a tough one to sell, I really do.”

Sources close to Chelsea have revealed that talks with Lampard have been held, while several former stars with links to the Blues have been having their say on a potential appointment and who should be brought in alongside a new man at the helm.

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