Why Frank Lampard Is Now Unequivocally the Best Manager in London

The bombs are raining down all around. They’re raining in Islington. They’re intermittent in Stratford. They’re pouring in Tottenham. 

No, this is not some apocalyptic vision (fingers crossed). These are, of course, not real bombs. They’re not even stat bombs (but shoutout to those guys). No, they’re tweet bombs, and they can be, well, ‘deadly’ would be offensive, so let’s say mildly annoying.


But people have a threshold for ‘mildly annoying’, and that threshold is regularly tested on Twitter. It has tasted the likes of Unai Emery (#EmeryOut, baybee), it has poked at the face of Mauricio Pochettino (if you type ‘Poch’ in the search bar, the first adjoining word that comes up is, you guessed it, ‘out’) and, well, who cares about Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham, but I’m sure stuff happens there too.

The same goes for ‘Fulham’, ‘Charlton’ and all the others – except Crystal Palace, cause Roy Hodgson is a polyglot genius.

In any case, one man who’s avoided such fan fervour, at least in this vein, is a certain Super Frankie Lampard. Super Frankie Lampard has been all-seeing, all-doing, all-winning (at least in the last six) and, because of this, in just two months of Premier League management, he’s quickly risen to become the best manager in London. 

And it’s not even close. 

Sure, you can cry ‘bias’ and ‘premature’ and ‘Fat Frank’ and ‘what about Scott Canham!?’ and whatever, but it won’t stop it from being true. While his contemporaries in the capital have endeavoured to maintain the status quo, or minimise their regressions to the mean, or just plain old regressions, Lampard has brought new life to a club that was dangerously close to spiralling out altogether some mere months ago.

That should not be read as a reflection of Maurizio Sarri as a manager – his current position tells you all you need to if you are one of those who never bought into his ways. But it goes without saying that the club was sincerely divided throughout his reign. Fans were bewildered by his tactics and bedraggled by his behaviour, and players weren’t far behind them.

The impending transfer ban, coupled with Roman Abramovich’s Homer Simpson Gif-style retreat from the fray made for a club searching for meaning. The youth was, of course, earmarked, as it had been for so long, as a place to mine for this meaning. 

But that was surely just optimism in the face of sincere adversity. Despite Europa League success, or maybe in part because of it, Chelsea’s face in the eight or 10-team Elite European Mount Rushmore was close to crumbling and tumbling to its downfall. 

But Lampard set about the much-needed renovations, and on Wednesday night the might of this youthful face-lift was there for the world to see.

That 1-0 defeat of Ajax was a watershed moment. 

A watershed moment for Frank’s players, staff, supporters and doubters. It was the moment everyone had to take stock of his achievements, his clear tactical nouse, his handling of players young and old, in-form and out, the clear spirit he’s imbued his players with, the marriage of that fire and desire with poise and temperament.

And it came either side of two very different wins for Tottenham and Arsenal.

Sure, this narrative could’ve been bolstered by Spurs winning by one instead of five, or Arsenal failing to come back from the brink of humiliating home defeat, but both their struggles are still bubbling away, barely beneath the surface. 

Indeed, Spurs’ cohesiveness against Red Star Belgrade could conceivably cast an even greater shadow over their efforts beforehand, and what, exactly, Mauricio Pochettino has been doing/not doing? In any case, the true test of their and his credentials will come on Sunday against Liverpool, and the Sunday after that at Everton.

As for the Gunners, they were dour against Vitoria, and it’s no surprise that, Nicolas Pepe GOAATness (Greatest Overpriced Attacker of All-Time) notwithstanding, #EmeryOut continues to trend, both on Twitter, and in IRL banners. 

There will, of course, be ups and downs to come for Lampard at Stamford Bridge. But this is no longer a youthful honeymoon period. This is a burgeoning, bona fide marriage, and as it stands I’m confident in the permanence of the bond. 

Holy Managerial Matrimony at ​Chels. Who’d’ve thought?


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