FRANK LAMPARD will have immediate authority over Chelsea’s notorious dressing room if he succeeds Maurizio Sarri as boss.
That is the verdict of Harry Redknapp, Lampard’s uncle and the man who talked Derby into giving his nephew a first job in management.
5 Harry Redknapp thinks Frank Lampard would boss the dressing room if he took over at ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association
Player power has done for a succession of Chelsea bosses and training-ground discontent with Sarri was a factor in the Blues not fighting too hard to stop the Italian moving to Juventus.
But Redknapp, 72, believes Lampard’s legendary status and inside knowledge of how the club works would give him an edge.
Former midfielder Lamps won 13 honours with the Blues — including three Prem titles and the Champions League — as well as racking up a record 211 goals for the club.
And Redknapp said: “He will have real authority. He won’t stand any nonsense.
“Eden Hazard has left and he was a fantastic player. No disrespect to any of the rest of them who are left but none of them can look at Frank and think, ‘I’m a bigger, better player’.
“He’s been a better player for Chelsea than any of them have been. That’s not a bad starting point for him. There won’t be anyone there he can’t handle.”
Lampard, 40, would be in a particularly strong position with the younger members of the Chelsea squad.
All the club’s academy graduates will have grown up watching him.
Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who spent last season on loan at Derby, also know him as a manager.
Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban — imposed by Fifa, ironically, for breaking rules over signing young overseas players — means any new boss will have to give youth more playing time than his predecessors.
It could be dawning of a bright new era for Chelsea
Harry Redknapp on Frank Lampard
Redknapp believes Lampard — or whoever the new manager is — can launch a brave new dawn at the club.
Redknapp said: “It could be a fresh new Chelsea. We could see some real young stars emerging.
“When I think of Chelsea, I think back to the days of Alan Hudson, Peter Osgood, Peter Houseman — people coming through the system, great young players.
“Maybe now these kids are going to get the chance.
“They have an incredible academy, producing all these great kids but sending them out on loan and not playing in the first team.
“It could be dawning of a bright new era for Chelsea.”
Although Redknapp is excited for his nephew, the current situation puts him in a difficult position.
He is good mates with Derby owner Mel Morris, who lives near him in Dorset, and understands why the Rams may try to persuade Lamps to stay.
5 Frank Lampard would surely be given more time than some of Chelsea's previous bosses
Redknapp said: “It’s going to be difficult for Mel, for Derby and for Frank. It’s not like he’s got problems there and wants to get away.
“It would be a great move for Frank, a great chance for him. His heart is at Chelsea.
"The fans would love him back there. I’ve not met a Chelsea fan who hasn’t been excited by the thought of Frank going there.
“But Derby is a good club. I’m sure he has built a good relationship with Mel Morris. It would be a massive blow for Derby.
“Mel has been so pleased with what Frank has brought to the club. Every time I’ve spoken to Mel he has spoken so highly of Frank.
“When Frank got the job at Derby, I spoke to Mel. To be truthful, it wasn’t like Mel came up with the idea. Frank wasn’t in his mind. I said, ‘Listen, take Frank Lampard’.
“It was only when I persuaded him to meet Frank. Once he’d met him he just said, ‘Oh my God, I want him, I’m going to give him the job’.
“It’s difficult for me to say he’s got to leave. I’m in a funny position.”
5 Frank Lampard's achievements at Chelsea will take some beating
On Sunday evening Redknapp will be back in the position where he feels most comfortable — in the dugout.
The former Tottenham, West Ham and Portsmouth boss will be co-manager of the World XI in the Soccer Aid for Unicef charity match at, of all places, Stamford Bridge.
If Lampard is back there on the touchline next season, it would be a rare opportunity for an English manager to show that home-grown coaches can be successful at top clubs.
Of the so-called “Big Six”, Arsenal and Manchester United have never had an English boss in the Premier League era — thanks mainly to the 20-year-plus reigns of Frenchman Arsene Wenger and Great Scot Sir Alex Ferguson.
Chelsea’s last English chief Glenn Hoddle joined in 1993 in time for the second season of the breakaway.
Manchester City last put an Englishman in charge in 2005. Stuart Pearce left the club in 2007 and only foreign coaches have been entrusted with the job since the money arrived.
5 Frank Lampard is a legend at Chelsea and his uncle Harry Redknapp thinks this would hold him in good stead if he was to take over at Stamford BridgeCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Liverpool’s last home-grown boss Roy Hodgson lasted only six months. And Spurs? They were the last to have an English boss, parting company with Redknapp himself in June 2012.
Asked what a shot in the arm it would be for English coaches if Lampard joined Chelsea, Redknapp said: “I think it would be massive.
“There are boys out there who can do it, given the opportunity.
“When you manage one of the Big Six, you have the most important thing of all — the players.
“Everything is there. You’ve got a chance. Except for Leicester that year, other teams rarely break into that six.
“Unfortunately, English and British managers have not had that opportunity often. It’s a chance now for Frank.
"I’m sure Stevie Gerrard will come back eventually and manage a Big Six club.
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“There are great young talents out there and it would be good to see them have the chance to manage at the top level now.
“Great for English coaches, English clubs, English players, great for the national team, great for Gareth Southgate.
“And, most importantly, great for Chelsea."
5 Frank Lampard is heavily tipped to take over at ChelseaCredit: Getty Images – Getty