Thirteen seasons. Thirteen pieces of silverware. 648 games. 211 goals. Bonafide Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has returned to the west London club.
Flanked by former Chelsea academy boss Jody Morris and fitness coach Chris Jones (who also both move from Derby County), Lampard becomes the 14th permanent manager in the 16 years of the Roman Abramovich era.
Lampard signed for Chelsea from West Ham in 2001 for £11million. 18 years later, the Blues have paid just over a third of that price to bring him back again to steer the ship at Stamford Bridge.
He becomes the first Englishman to be awarded the position on a full-time basis under Russian-Israeli oligarch Abramovich, and the first since Glenn Hoddle over a quarter of a century ago.
In the 2018/19 season, Chelsea finished third in the Premier League with the now-departed Maurizio Sarri, behind Liverpool and champions Manchester City. The Blues finished ahead of Tottenham Hotspur - who took the last Champions League qualification spot in fourth - Arsenal, and Manchester United to complete the so-called Big Six teams in the English top tier.
But when did their main rivals also last have an Englishman at the helm?
2013: Tottenham Hotspur (Tim Sherwood)
Before the beloved Mauricio Pochettino had Spurs shining and teetering towards success, Tottenham Hotspur had a conveyor belt of managers to rival Chelsea. Though there was an extended period of stability under Harry Redknapp between 2008 and 2012, his successor Andre Villas-Boas only lasted a little over a season.
The man to take over from the Portuguese was Tim Sherwood, former player and Redknapp’s assistant first team coach. Sherwood’s tenure would end after 149 days, leaving with a 50% win rate.
2010: Liverpool (Roy Hodgson)
Roy Hodgson’s success with Fulham in taking them to the Europa League final, memorably beating goliaths Juventus along the way, eventually took the likeable journeyman to Anfield. He replaced the long-serving, Champions League-winning Rafael Benitez, who had also taken the Reds achingly close to that desperately-sought Premier League title (as of 2019, they STILL haven’t got it). Hodgson immediately raised eyebrows when his summer acquisitions included Joe Cole and Paul Konchesky.
When he was finally sacked a week after the New Year and just over 30 games in, Hodgson had produced one of the three worst win percentages of any permanent Liverpool manager of the past half a century.
- Spurs: Tim Sherwood (2013)
- Liverpool: Roy Hodgson (2010)
- Man City: Stuart Pearce (2005)
- Chelsea: Glenn Hoddle (1993)
- Arsenal: Don Howe (1983)
- Man Utd: Ron Atkinson (1981)
2005: Man City (Stuart Pearce)
Oh Cityzens, do you remember these days? Do you look back and laugh, or look back and cringe? These were miserable days when one would have to watch the moping expression of Stuart 'Psycho’ Pearce providing a Match of the Day autopsy, commenting on the performances of Ben Thatcher, Antoine Sibierski, or Ben Thatcher. Pearce lasted over two years and oversaw almost a century of games.
1993: Chelsea (Glenn Hoddle)
Player-manager for the first two of his three seasons in the mid-nineties, Hoddle arrived just a few months after Bill Clinton had been sworn into the White House.
Chelsea reached the FA Cup Final in his first season, but silverware wasn’t forthcoming and he eventually left to manager the England national team.
1983: Arsenal (Don Howe)
The late Don Howe closed his playing career with a two-season spell in North London in the late ‘60s, and was part of Bertie Mee’s backroom staff at Highbury in the early portion of the next decade. Howe was highly-regarded and respected in the England set-up as well. As a solo manager, however, Howe floundered and resigned from Arsenal in 1986. Over a decade later, Aldershot-born Bruce Rioch was also appointed Gunners’ manager, but had represented Scotland as a player.
1981: Man Utd (Ron Atkinson)
For many Manchester United diehards of a certain generation, the 1980s are where the beautiful love affair with the club burgeoned. Ron Atkinson ultimately left in acrimonious circumstances but had returned two FA Cups in a three-season period, a period when certain Merseyside clubs were flourishing.
The 1990s may have produced more silverware but this was still the era where such Manchester United legends as Gordon Strachan, Arthur Albiston, Mark Hughes, and of course Bryan Robson were made. 10 weeks into the 1986/87 season, however, Big Ron was out having failed to return that desired league title.