Frank Lampard has revealed his desire to go into management one day and indicated that there is only one club he really wants to be in charge of…
West Ham United! No, that was a joke, of course he said Chelsea, and indicated he would not want to "show himself" in the lower leagues, which is likely to rule out his former club anyway, never mind the fans’ less than warm approach to him.
It is common knowledge that being a great player, and Lampard is undoubtedly so, doesn’t automatically mean you will be a great manager.
However, in today’s football, where loyalties are malleable and the highest bidder generally wins out, having a club great who has a real connection with the fans in the hot seat could well be a blessing.
Lampard may have to fight off current team-mate John Terry for the job, as the Blues captain has also stated a desire to get the job at Stamford Bridge – some wicked people might say he has already done a bit of that.
So, which names could become the perfect ex-players to take over at some of the biggest Premier League clubs once they hang up their boots, or the current incumbent steps down?
There is a new era blossoming at Stamford Bridge, where an injection of youthful exuberance is beginning to take some of the burden away from some more experienced players. The aforementioned Terry and Lampard would both be prime candidates to get the job once their playing days are done.
The same goes for Didier Drogba; the Ivory Coast international’s standing at Chelsea couldn’t be higher after his performances at the end of last season.
An arrangement such as this worked the first time with Kenny Dalglish, but it was not to be the second time around. Steven Gerrard is the obvious candidate from the current crop, as he is seen as one of the greatest ever players the club has had and spending the entirety of his career at Anfield might go some way towards sealing his reputation.
However, a man that is probably closer to retirement is Jamie Carragher – another Liverpool lifer – and it is easy to envisage the tough defender bellowing orders from the touchline to his charges.
Perhaps a Gerrard/Carragher partnership? Kopites could well get excited about that one.
Former Manchester United players under Sir Alex Ferguson have a streaky record when it comes to management, but it would be hard to not get excited about Ryan Giggs having a crack at it. The Old Trafford legend has intimated a desire to have a go in the hot-seat.
Giggs’ technical knowledge of the game will be vast and his ability to keep himself relevant his helped greatly by the way he looks after himself – something that is vitally important for young players.
Paul Scholes is at a similar point in his career and many have expressed doubt as to whether he would make the step up, mainly due to him being quite introverted, but he recently revealed he has been taking his coaching badges and was open to the idea of becoming a manager. Maybe another ex-player duo at the Red Devils?
Tony ‘Mr Arsenal’ Adams was always expected to be in the running to become the next manager after Arsene Wenger decided to step down, but his subsequent career since retirement from playing has made this a less than enticing prospect.
Adams’ old defensive partner Steve Bould is a well-loved figure at the club and his current occupation of the assistant manager’s post mean he would likely have to be considered should the top job become vacant.
There aren’t many of the current crop who are old enough to think seriously about it and it is highly doubtful if any of them will be there long enough to gain such admiration from Gunners fans, especially if the recent lack of trophy success continues.
Many of Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’, however, are held up as some of the greatest players the club has ever had and are some of the most loved. Possibly Arsenal’s greatest ever player, Thierry Henry, has expressed an interest in one day managing his old side, but the leading candidate among them is Dennis Bergkamp. The Dutchman is currently second in command at another of his former clubs, Ajax, and would certainly be a name the fans would welcome.
It may be painful reading for Spurs fans, but barren years have made cub greats hard to come by, as most of their best players chose to take more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.
Andre Villas-Boas has been drafted in to begin a new era at the club and return them to successes more comparable with White Hart Lane’s glory days, but his Chelsea experience have meant he is watched with a cautionary eye by many fans.
There is one man who Spurs’ supporters would take in a heartbeat, and one that could walk into the job heralded with fanfare. A man that never took the riches from elsewhere and garnered the greatest of respect from the north London side.
Ledley King’s retirement this summer will have left many with a feeling of what might have been, but his dodgy knees should not withhold him from giving instructions and doing chalkboard work. He’d have to want the job, of course, but his love for the club means that is likely a formality.
Which ex-player would you like to see take over at your club?
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