Gerrard or Lampard? The Dugout Edition: Will The Ex-Hammer Prevail?

Author: . Published: at 9:12pm

Written by Steve Jones

With two of England’s best ever players going into football management, it seems as though the Gerrard vs Lampard debate is set to rage on, despite the fact that both have since retired from playing the game. As has been well documented, Gerrard has decided that his future lies north of the border with Rangers, with Lampard plumping for Championship nearly-men Derby County. Of course, these moves represent very different challenges for the pair – Gerrard will be, in time, expected to turn Rangers into challengers for the SPL title, whilst Lampard’s remit will surely involve securing a move to the top flight for Derby and keeping them there.

On the surface, it’s difficult to assess who has the more difficult job. Celtic are breaking records left, right and centre in the Scottish Premiership and look almost untouchable at this moment in time. Rangers finished some 12 points behind Celtic last season and after a 5-0 thumping from the champions elect, the board felt that it was time to part company with Graham Murty. Murty did fairly well in steadying the ship after the departure of Pedro Caixinha but was seen by many as simply a stop-gap until something better came along. It was then decided that “something” was Liverpool youth-team coach Steven Gerrard and the England legend will probably need to hit the ground running in order to fend off questions about his lack of managerial experience.

Frank Lampard, on the other hand, has been working as a pundit following his retirement from the game and is therefore even less experienced than Gerrard when it comes to management. Derby have earned a reputation as the “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” team of the Championship, with last year being a textbook example of a team who don’t seem to know how to get over the line despite spending the best part of the year in the upper echelons of the Championship.

If Lampard is to enjoy any sort of success at Derby, one of his first jobs will involve changing the mentality of a group of players who will still be undoubtedly deflated at once again fluffing their lines last season and playing under Harry Redknapp’s no-nonsense management style all those years ago at the Hammers should help him in this regard. Redknapp clearly has an eye for a player as he predicted Lampard’s success all the way back in 1996 and it’s likely that he will be just a phonecall away to lend Lamps a hand should he need it. However, at 5/1 in Championship betting to be promoted, the bookmakers seem to be of the opinion that Lampard will have to be content with staying in the second tier for at least another year.

In truth, there’s no real way of telling if Gerrard or Lampard are going to be successful at their respective clubs. However, what they do bring is a wealth of experience, a winning mentality and the kind of “wow” factor which can be invaluable when it comes to galvanising a club. Rangers fans turned up in their thousands to witness the unveiling of Gerrard as their manager in an event which felt more like the second coming of Jesus than a football news conference and Derby fans seem to be equally as excited with the appointment of the West Ham legend. Regardless of how successful their tenures at their respective clubs turn out to be, it would take a brave man to back against them locking horns in the dugout sometime in the near future and don’t be surprised if Lamps returns to the Hammers in some capacity to finish what he started here as a young lad. Maybe Scott Canham will be his assistant? Then again, maybe not.

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