Time is not on anyone’s side, least of all the manager of Chelsea. Ten managers have come and gone in the last ten years, with the most recent dismissal being Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard, who was recently sacked after a short run of poor form in the Premier League. Lampard, 42, started his managerial career at Derby County in 2018 before being approached to join Chelsea as manager in 2019. Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals and he has, amongst other honours, won the UEFA Champions League title, three Premier League titles, and four FA Cups. As the first English manager of Chelsea for many years, as a former and highly-respected player and as a fan of the club itself, Lampard must be bitterly disappointed at his early demise, some eighteen months through a three-year contract.
With former PSG manager Thomas Tuchel now appointed in his place, Lampard will need time to lick his wounds before he sets off in a new direction. As a young and still relatively inexperienced manager, he will wish to continue his career and football pundits are speculating that he may be head-hunted to replace Neil Lennon as manager at Celtic.
Celtic is now a whopping 23 points behind rivals Rangers (managed by Lampard’s England team mate Steve Gerrard) in the Scottish Premiership and it seems highly unlikely that the Glasgow team will be able to close that gap and retain the Premiership trophy that has been in the club’s trophy room every year for the past decade. The position of manager Neil Lennon is looking increasingly tenuous and there is an active betting market on who will replace him. Frank Lampard is now third favourite to replace Lennon, behind Rafa Benitez and Eddie Howe.
Benitez, a seasoned manager of clubs including Liverpool and, coincidentally and briefly, Chelsea, is favourite for the job with odds of 4/6 from bookie William Hill. Benitez recently left the Dalian Professional club, in the Chinese Super League, and a move to one of Scotland’s top two clubs may suit him well. Eddie Howe, too, is not yet spoken for after his eight-year tenure with Bournemouth came to an end after the Cherries were relegated at the end of last season. Paddy Power offers odds of 7/2 that Howe will be the next permanent manager of Celtic.
Lampard has shot up the betting market from 66/1 last week to current odds of 9/1 with bookmaker William Hill on the back of the announcement of his sacking from Stamford Bridge. Oddschecker has noted a huge increase in betting activity, with a spokesperson saying “In the hour following the news, a whopping 62% of bets backed Lampard for the Parkhead role, sending his price crashing”.
Seasoned commentator and former Rangers striker and manager, Ally McCoist, urges caution however, as he reckons Lampard will be reluctant to move to Scotland. Speaking to talkSPORT, McCoist says “I think he’d want to expand his managerial career in a bigger league, to be honest with you. I don’t think anyone could deny that the top flight in England is the biggest league, and probably the best league in the world”.