Lampard is in the running for the Ipswich Town manager’s job... but how does he fit Evans’ five-point plan?
PUBLISHED: 14:58 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:49 22 May 2018
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Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard said to have been interviewed for the Ipswich Town manager’s job. ANDY WARREN runs him through Marcus Evans’ five-point plan.
Attractive playing style
Owner Marcus Evans has stressed he wants his sides to entertain... and Lampard certainly did that during his illustrious playing career.
While we have yet to see his playing philosophy on the pitch in a management sense, you would expect to see a similar style to the one which saw him win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League.
He scored more than 300 goals during his career for club and country, many of which coming from long range and plenty more the result of driving runs into the box, both with and without the ball.
The centre of the Ipswich Town midfield has lacked creativity and drive for a number of years, with injury robbing Mick McCarthy of the talents of the likes of Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Emyr Huws for much of last season.
Could Lampard be the man to bring some life to the middle of the field? His name alone would certainly inspire the likes of Tristan Nydam and Flynn Downes.
Work within a sustainable budget
Here’s where the questions start. Any new Ipswich manager will not be spending huge amounts of money on players and will need to work within a tight budget to achieve success.
That will require the new boss to recruit well and then get as much as possible out of the players at his disposal. There will be no quick fixes, players can not simply be brought in to patch up under-performing areas and work on the training ground will really need to count.
It would certainly be unfair to assume the fact Lampard spent the majority of his career at oil-rich Chelsea would preclude him from working with tight purse-strings, but it’s certainly a fair question to ask.
His uncle, Harry Redknapp, is of course known as something of a wheeler-dealer and would certainly offer his nephew a good contacts book.
Bring youngsters through
Lampard’s coaching career so far consists of work with Chelsea’s Under 18s, who are managed by his former Stamford Bridge team-mate Jody Morris.
The Chelsea youngsters won the FA Youth Cup this season with an aggregate victory over Arsenal, so he must be doing something right.
He has been studying for his UEFA A coaching licence for more than 18 months, which he has now passed, with the aim of moving into senior football, but his start working with the young players will be helpful.
There is certainly an exciting crop to work with, as the likes of Dozzell, Nydam, Downes, Myles Kenlock, Bens Morris and Folami and defender Luke Woolfenden push towards the first team.
It’s what makes the Town job so attractive.
Evans wants to see his new manager identify and sign young players at the beginning of their careers and help them progress.
Grant Ward and Adam Webster are good examples of this in action, with former Tottenham youngster Ward highlighting how players can be taken from big clubs’ youth systems and ex-Portsmouth man Webster proving there is talent available in the lower leagues.
This would test both Lampard’s ability in the transfer market and on the training ground. He is surely well placed and has good enough contacts at the top level to be able to identify those young players in top flight youth systems, but how well does he know lower league football?
As a manager with no previous experience, the fact Evans wants stability in his ranks would be music to Lampard’s ears.
The Blues owner is patient and wants to give his managers as long and as good a chance as possible to get things right - that is surely a big reason why the vacancy has been such an attractive one.
This is the start of a new era for the Blues, with Evans vowing to go with ‘something different’, so time and patience will be a key factor in helping that change take root.
For all the knocks on McCarthy, his players’ commitment to him was never in doubt and his man-management skills superb. Lampard would be learning on the job in this regard.
He would though, surely, be accompanied by an experienced head if he were to take on the Ipswich job. Uncle Harry is an obvious candidate, given he is also close to owner Evans, but Lampard’s contacts and reputation would mean he will not be short of advice should he require it.
What he’s said
Speaking earlier this month, the former midfielder stressed he is ready to take his first steps in management.
“Well I’m doing my coaching badges at the moment. I’ve spent a lot of time at Chelsea this year, gaining hours of experience,” Lampard said.
“I’ve already managed to get my A Licence in coaching. So yes, with the right opportunity and right timing for me, I’d really take a very close look at it.
“Because you do want to give back, show you can help try to develop players, and help them tactically and whether you can be a good man manager.”