Frank Lampard, a legend at Chelsea who finished his career with New York City Football Club, has been named the Derby County manager.
Derby County is in the Coca Cola Championship in England, one level below the English Premier League. They finished in sixth place, earning a spot in the playoffs for promotion to the EPL, and they lost to Fulham.
Derby's glory years were in the 1970s, as they won the First Division title (a forerunner of the Premier League) in 1972 when they were coached by Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, and then again in 1975. They reached the semifinals of the European Cup in 1973 under Clough, and lost in the semifinals to Juventus.
In his time at Chelsea, they won three English Premier League championships, four FA Cups, and the club's first-ever UEFA Champions League title in 2012, and a UEFA Europa League championship in 2013.
In 2014, Lampard agreed to join New York City Football Club for their inaugural season the following year.
Before he joined NYCFC, Lampard played the 2014-15 season with their parent club Manchester City, where he scored six goals in 32 games, with one of his most memorable goals coming in a game against Chelsea.
By staying with Manchester City the entire season, coupled with injuries, his arrival in New York was delayed until that July.
Once he settled in with NYCFC, he brought some of his magic to the team, joining other international stars Andrea Pirlo and David Villa.
Lampard played here in 2015 and '16, and scored 15 goals in 29 matches.
“I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity," Lampard said at his introductory press conference as Derby County manager on Thursday. "I have spent considerable time discussing the role and the club’s objectives with the chairman and board members.
“We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and academy talent we have at Pride Park.
“This is my first job as a manager, but I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me, including the board. I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is – but I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
|Lampard with Derby Executive Chairman Mel Morris. @DCFCofficial.|
Derby County executive chairman Mel Morris said, “I’m delighted to have someone of Frank’s caliber as our new manager.
“I’ve always been an admirer of Frank both as a player and a person, especially in the way he conducts himself both on and off the pitch. That impression was only re-enforced when we interviewed him for this role, his passion and humility shone through in equal measure. The board were unanimous that he was the stand-out applicant with many highly desirable and unique capabilities.
“Few players have achieved what Frank has in his career to date. He’s a winner, a leader who knows what it takes to succeed and who has the character and charisma to be a fantastic manager for us.”
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira, who coached Lampard in 2016, said on Saturday night of his decision, "I didn't speak to him yet. I'm glad he made this step to coaching. I think I'm not surprised at all.
"I think when you spend 15, 20 years playing the game, this is one of the things that we know, this is our passion, this is our life, and I think he will do great because he loved the game, and I wish him good luck."
Lampard said of how he will approach the game as a coach compared to how he did as a player, "I don't think there's a great difference. The rules of football remain the same for me, and the first rule is hard work and being competitive, and if you give that as a player, you give that to the fans to watch, you have a great chance of success because I know this club already has quality there and a quality squad. Things will evolve and things will change, and I'll put my mark on this team, but the basic thing I'll demand is that work rate and desire because in the Championship as much as any league, that's crucial for me."