Former Chelsea star not buying Lampard 'nonsense' as club legend is tipped to replace Sarri

Frank Lampard Derby
The Blues are being linked with a move to bring a former favourite back to the club, but Craig Burley is not convinced ex-players are the way forward

Frank Lampard continues to be heavily linked with a return to Chelsea in a managerial role, but Craig Burley believes it is “nonsense” to expect former players to succeed where others have failed.

Plenty of teams have favoured that approach down the years.

An association with a certain team is considered by many to be a positive, and Lampard is a Blues legend from his days as a player at Stamford Bridge.

He has cut his coaching teeth at Derby in the Championship and is considered to have offered enough in that role to suggest that he is capable of stepping up into the Premier League.

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Burley, though, has pointed to Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as an example of how familiar faces can get fans on side but struggle to deliver results over a prolonged period of time.

The former Chelsea midfielder told ESPN FC of the links to Lampard: “The one thing I’ve heard is that this unites the fans, what a load of nonsense.

“It’s the same thing as at United - ‘well this gets the fans on our side’, what the hell does that matter?

“Right, because fans get on the side of a team when they perform on the field. When a team doesn’t perform on the field, the fans aren’t on that side.

“It matters not a jot who they appoint, fans will only be on your side because they think ‘oh, well Frank’s been at Chelsea for years, this is a great appointment, we’re all happy’.

“Guess what, when results start going a little bit awry, like they did at United, things will change.

“If Frank comes in he’ll probably bring in Jody Morris, who was his assistant at Derby, another ex-Chelsea player.

“Good coach, good guy, both good guys no problem there. It’s just experience.

“A big turnaround is needed at Chelsea, a big turnaround, and I go back to it, it’s short-term.

“I go back to United, Ed Woodward was so soft in trying to appease the fans that he rushed out and gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the contract. Then results started going downhill.

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“It’s a big call all around if that’s the case. If it is, it’s clearly Chelsea saying ‘we want someone we can control, and we probably aren’t going to spend money on players’.”

Chelsea are unlikely to spend this summer as they are operating under a two-window transfer ban that has not been lifted despite the lodging of an appeal.

They have also lost the talismanic presence of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, so whoever comes in – with Maurizio Sarri expected to return to Italy with Juventus – will have a tough job on their hands.