Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick admits he isn’t sure he can see Chelsea backing Frank Lampard in the same way that Old Trafford chiefs have been patient with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils are seeing some reward now from backing Solskjaer through some difficult patches, with the Norwegian tactician now having Man Utd look like genuine Premier League title contenders.
Lampard was a similar style of appointment by Chelsea – an inexperienced club legend brought in to stabilise the club and work with academy players in a way that hadn’t really been done by previous bosses at Stamford Bridge.
Still, there’s no escaping that Roman Abramovich doesn’t have a history for showing patience to his managers, and even a big figure like Lampard is no longer safe.
Chadwick has backed Solskjaer after the fine work he’s done to turn things around at United, but when asked about Lampard, he admitted he had his doubts that the Blues would go down a similar route.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, the former midfielder said: “Obviously Lampard went in there having had a season at Derby where he did well, got to the playoff final, he’s obviously a club legend at Chelsea and he does need time.
“Obviously the pressure’s on him a bit more this season because last season he didn’t have any money to spend, this year they’ve pumped a lot of money into the squad.
“I think that is the difference between Manchester United and Chelsea – I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea changed the manager quite quickly because that’s what they’ve done over the years, they’re looking for that instant success, whereas with Man United, the history of the club is to give managers a bit more time.
“You’d like to think Chelsea will give one of their best ever players that time but I think chances are, if results don’t go well, it’s not really the Chelsea way, it’s not really how they do business.”
Chadwick also responded to questions about Mauricio Pochettino taking over at Paris Saint-Germain and explained why he didn’t necessarily think this was a missed opportunity for his old club due to the work Solskjaer has done at Old Trafford.
“Obviously Pochettino’s an incredible manager who did a wonderful job at Spurs, but at the same time Pochettino could have been similar to Jose Mourinho when he took over United, or Louis van Gaal,” Chadwick said.
“I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a little bit different in terms of what he is to that football club, what a huge career he had playing for the club, the lessons he’ll have learned under Sir Alex Ferguson, knowing the culture of the club, what Manchester United is all about.
“I think that’s probably more important than bringing in the biggest name manager. Ole’s been under massive pressure at times but he’s shown that resilience – every time he’s needed results he’s managed to dig them out and I think the club has shown improvement from when Mourinho, Van Gaal or David Moyes were in charge.
“I think Ole deserves great credit, it does remind you of the times when Sir Alex took over all those years ago and he was under pressure but he was given the time to build what he wanted to build. It does seem like Ole is trying to do things in the right way, in the tradition of Manchester United.
“Obviously Ole hasn’t got the experience of a Mourinho or Pochettino, but they needed to get experience as well in their early days of management. Having that connection with the club means more.
“I’m obviously a bit biased because I played for Manchester United, but I think it does mean more at Manchester United than other clubs, being part of what that culture is, understanding what it means to play and be a part of that club. Ole was a huge part of that in his time as a player.
“He had his experience at Molde and Cardiff City and now he’s come into that environment of a big club. The football hasn’t always been brilliant but there has been progression, perhaps slower than some people want, but it doesn’t just happen straight away. We’re all wanting that quick, instant fix, but Ole has gone about his business in a real classy way.
“It might take time to build but he’s had two years to do that and you can see that he is building something. They are in a position now to challenge for the top honour of the Premier League trophy.”