On the morning of January 25, Chelsea decided to part ways with head coach and club legend, Frank Lampard. It’s a questionable decision in any way you look at it. However, despite all bad news, Lampard left a legacy that will outlive his time at the club, along with any other managers’. One cannot measure his success in trophies, as he didn’t win any, but it can be measured by the pillars he laid for the future of the club.
The first and most prominent legacy is the team he has built. As a player, Lampard won everything with Chelsea and he helped build much of the club’s history. As manager, he allowed players make a name for themselves. The Likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and others—all of whom are academy players—are now the new face of the club. It was an unexpected breakthrough as the Blues had a poor history with academy players, but Lampard did the necessary things to showcase their talents.
Let’s be honest, no other manager, even under Lampard’s circumstances, would give the youngsters the trust and confidence needed. The Englishman made sure to give them all the time and patience on the pitch. Even when they made mistakes, missed goals or simply disappeared in games, the manager still selected them in the following games. This allowed for the players to believe in the manager and more importantly, in themselves.
This was a risk only Lampard was willing to take, and it paid off. Thanks to Lampard, the club now has one of the strongest, and most promising squads in the Premier League and even the world. It’s not that he was allowed to take all of these risks, he simply took them because that is what is required to succeed. It paid off in his first season as he achieved top four with a squad everyone wrote off as weak and unexperienced.
The second part of his legacy is the connection he built with the fans. It wasn’t just the love and appreciation the fans felt for Lampard and his career as a player though. He gave the fans something to be proud of, a home-grown team that admires and respect him. They, like the fans, were willing to fight for him. This sense of ownership was what supporters were missing in previous years.
Moreover, his charisma on the pitch, and class in the conference room, made everything much more enjoyable. The third-year manager showed frustration when needed, but his spirit and charisma were key. Every argument with an opposing manager; every late goal celebration; every post-match commemoration toward the stands; Lampard made sure he reciprocated what the supporters showed him. These acts from the manager were more than enough to convert the non-believers into dreamers.
The Lampard legacy will live rent free in every future manager, commentator and opposition’s mind. Once this team starts achieving what its capable of and winning every trophy available, his work will be looked as the foundation of the pillars that made it all possible. While other managers’ successes will be their own, they will have just one person to thank: Super Frankie Lampard.