It’s safe to say that Frank Lampard certainly made a good impression in his first job in management with Derby County in the Championship.
The former Chelsea midfielder took charge of the Rams in the summer of 2018, and guided them to a top-six finish. However, they fell short in their bid for promotion at the final hurdle.
Derby were beaten by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, which proved to be Lampard’s final game in charge of the club.
He was appointed as Chelsea’s new manager in July 2019, and has since guided the Blues to fourth in the Premier League during the break from competitive action.
However, Lampard’s first managerial step might not have been with Derby if one other club had stepped up their interest in his services.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Harry Redknapp revealed that he got Lampard the job at Ipswich, but a move failed to materialise as they couldn’t afford to bring him to Portman Road.
“I got him the job at Ipswich.
“I phoned Marcus Evans and said ‘Listen you need a manager, Frank Lampard’s your man.’
“He met him, loved him, offered him the job. Frank said ‘Harry, they’ve got no budget, it’s difficult there. I can’t bring any players in. What can I do?’
“I said ‘It’s a great club, Ipswich, Frank but you’re going to need a bit of help. You ain’t got a magic wand.’
Redknapp then went on to reveal that he was in contact with Derby over a potential move to the club, which certainly proved to be a success for the former England midfielder.
“Then suddenly the Derby job became available and I rang Mel Morris. He’s got a house up the road from me and I get on ever so well with him.
“I said ‘Mel, you keep getting managers and getting rid of them. You’ve not been very clever at picking managers. Take Frank Lampard.”
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They’ll be kicking themselves for missing out on him.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had my doubts as to whether Lampard would be a good enough manager to have in the Championship, as it can be an unforgiving division at times.
But he silenced his doubters relatively quickly, and was a real success at the club, especially with the players be brought into the side to strengthen their bid for promotion last season.
Ipswich had a season to forget as well, and you have to feel that if they had the budget available to appoint Lampard, then they wouldn’t be playing their football in League One at the moment.