‘It’s going to be a tough year’ – Former Premier League boss predicts tricky start for Lampard
Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp expects new Chelsea manager Frank Lampard to have a tough year ahead of his first Premier League campaign in the Stamford Bridge hotseat.
A rookie in the managerial world, Lampard has been thrown in at the deep end at former club Chelsea after spending one year managing Derby County.
Aside from the ex-midfielder’s inexperience in the dugout, Chelsea have been beset by a transfer ban, while last season’s top scorer Eden Hazard has left for Real Madrid – without the opportunity to replace him this summer.
Redknapp feels that Lampard has it all to do in his first campaign – but has backed the Blues’ record goalscorer to become a long-term success.
He said (via Football.london): “It’s going to be a tough season for Frank. It’s great to see him get the opportunity at Chelsea and I’m sure he’ll do well in the long term, but they’ve lost their best player in Hazard. He’s got a big job and it’s going to be a tough year. If they make the top four, and I think they can finish fourth, it’ll be a big achievement.”
It may not be too surprising if Chelsea fail to replace the influence of Hazard – the Belgian scored 21 and assisted 17 in his final Blues campaign – topping both respective charts for the Blues last season in the process.
So Lampard may have to find other sources to replicate that level of goal involvement without having the luxury of adding to his squad – while their top-six rivals have – if they are to stake a claim for a Champions League spot next season.
Meanwhile, denoting a top-four finish as a ‘big achievement’ could be a slight understatement on Redknapp’s part given the restrictions, experience and disadvantages Chelsea will be under for the duration of the forthcoming campaign.
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