For the first time in his short managerial career so far, Frank Lampard has found himself experiencing something of a dip in form, with his Derby County side finding themselves under pressure from a large chasing pack in the race for a playoff place, following a run of just one win in seven league games.
That run is The Rams’ worst of the Championship season so far, and as a result is also the worst of Lampard’s time as a manager, something that could be well worth remembering before any Derby fans start to panic.
When Derby announced Lampard as their manager, many pondered how the rookie would cope with one of the toughest challenges in football management, getting a club out of the Championship and into the Premier League, as his first assignment, and so far, it would seem harsh to criticise the Chelsea legend’s effort in his debut season in the dugout.
Though nothing is far from certain, Derby do hold the advantage of having a playoff spot that is theirs to lose, rather than having to do the work of chasing one down while relying on results elsewhere, which is made all the more impressive when you take into account the nature of the squad that Lampard has at his disposal.
While learning the managerial ropes for the first time himself, Lampard is also having to take the likes of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, on loan from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, through their first seasons as regular starters in English league football, and they have been two of The Rams’ stand out performers this campaign.
Like that, this blip is a learning curve every manager at every club experiences many times throughout their career, and this is something that Lampard will learn from, and as a result be better prepared for next time around. If Derby ride it out and still secure a playoff place it will be a big feather in Lampard’s cap.
If they don’t however, then it will still put Lampard, and potentially Derby, in a stronger and even readier position for next time around, The Rams could well be in a win-win situation here, providing they play their cards right.