More Klopp than Mourinho! Inside Lampard's Chelsea revolution

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Frank Lampard’s sensational return to Stamford Bridge as manager is now official – so what should we expect to see from the former midfield ace?

After a year of toxicity under Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard is the perfect man to reunite Chelsea’s fan base.

Stamford Bridge was engulfed in in-fighting under the Italian boss, who departed for Juventus after a turbulent – yet successful – year in West London.

While Sarri never won over locals, Chelsea legend Lampard will have no such problems after a record-breaking 13-year spell as a player at the club.

Well-educated, empathetic and hard-working, Lampard is a modern coach who immediately impressed after taking his first managerial role at Derby County a year ago.

Unlike Sarri, Lampard prefers to be tactically versatile and adapt his game plan to his opponents. However, like the Italian, he has so far preferred to utilise a 4-3-3 formation with inverted wingers who cut inside.

However, his system is a more counter-attacking version to the possession-based one used at Stamford Bridge last season. His teams are aggressive in transition, as so thrillingly illustrated in Derby's shock win over Man Utd at Old Trafford.

The likes of Jack Marriott and Harry Wilson exploited the space in behind to cause numerous problems – something Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Pedro and Christian Pulisic can replicate at Chelsea.

Derby were always extremely dangerous when the other team had possession. They counter-pressed as soon as they lost the ball, while they also pressed aggressively from the front against sides that played out from the back.

In that sense, Lampard's management style can be compared to Jurgen Klopp’s. And, just like the Liverpool boss, he also looks to connect with his team’s fans. At Derby last season, he led 'The Bounce', with fans jumping as soon as their manager gave them the order.

Lampard had financial limits imposed on him at Derby, so his sixth-placed finish was a significant achievement in the Championship, even if the subsequent play-off final loss to Aston Villa was tough to take.

Still, Derby's 2018-19 campaign may be best remembered for their rivalry with Leeds United and particularly the ‘Spygate’ scandal, which was sparked by Marcelo Bielsa having been caught sending a scout to watch Lampard's team train in January.

Leeds won that battle after Lampard reacted in an emotional, Mourinho-esque fashion against actions he believed had broken the unwritten rules of etiquette in the English game.

Bielsa defended himself by demonstrating that spying was only a small part of the research that he and his team produce before matches.

Lampard, though, felt patronised. Indeed, he is a coach who also believes in the importance in data and analytics, so considers himself just as meticulous and detailed in his approach to matches.

So, it was obviously immensely satisfying for him to eventually win the war with Bielsa by beating Leeds in the play-off semi-finals.

The influence of Mourinho on Lampard is natural – with the pair having worked together for four years during two spells at Chelsea – but this is no second coming of the ‘Special One’.

Lampard has himself spelt out that he has his own unique football philosophy.

"I try to be myself, I think that’s very important," Lampard told Goal in April. "Copying anyone as a manager, or anyone in general is a mistake.

"You have to find your own methods or your own ways so I certainly have no fear of tapping into a bit of the managers that I have worked with over the years but I don’t think that I am similar to any of them.

"I try to take positive points from a lot of who I worked with. In terms of how I work, I try to be thoughtful in the week. I sometimes think to be reactionary to performances or mistakes can be an error. So, I try to be a manager who plans things out.

"Of course, you have to be reactionary in games to stuff but I try to take things through the week. All the information. Be as prepared as I can be and thorough with the staff that I have got.

"Then, make decisions having done that work which I think gives you the best opportunity to have that success."

Frank Lampard GFX

Lampard’s right-hand man at Chelsea is likely to be Jody Morris, who was also his assistant manager at Derby.

Morris knows Chelsea inside and out, having spent 10 years at the club as a player and then four years coaching the club’s academy teams between 2014 and 2018.

Morris was a vocal critic on Twitter and on television about managers – including Sarri – who underused young players.

"The thing about Chelsea is I don’t think there’s an academy in this country that’s better," Morris said on Sky Sports recently. "[The] players are good enough, most definitely, but the managers are not, for one, aware of them."

Mason Mount – on loan at Derby last season – is one player who could benefit from the arrival of the new coaching team, which will also likely boast ex-Blues fitness coach Chris Jones. Mount starred as an advanced playmaker under Lampard at Derby, scoring eight goals in 35 games.

Academy graduates and players returning from loan will be crucial for Chelsea next season after FIFA imposed a two-window transfer ban on the club. The Blues have taken what appears to be a strategic decision to not appeal for the ban to be frozen despite denying all wrongdoing.

Frank Lampard GFX

Both Morris and Lampard have a track record of not only working with Chelsea youth players but also promoting academy products during their time at Pride Park.

Elsewhere, Petr Cech has already returned to the Bridge as the club's new technical and performance advisor, while Claude Makelele could also be welcomed back into the fold.

Both achieved incredible success as players at Chelsea – and were renowned for their strong personalities and work-ethic. Lampard would demand the same values from his players but he will not impose strict rules on the squad.

For Lampard, this is a dream job and he would work as hard as he possibly can to make a success of the opportunity – just as he did when he arrived as a player.

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Many said that Lampard wasn't ready for Chelsea when he signed for £11 million ($14m) in 2001, but he went onto become the club's record scorer with 211 goals and won three Premier Leagues, the Champions League, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Europa League.

Chelsea are now not as strong as they once were and – with star man Eden Hazard having left for Real Madrid – Lampard will need time to rebuild the team with younger players.

However, the 41-year-old can be a breath of fresh air and you can guarantee that everyone at Stamford Bridge will be right behind him.

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