If Frank Lampard’s appointment feels like a change of direction at Chelsea, then it is another positive stride forth in a revival for English managers.
Lampard is the first Englishman to take charge at Stamford Bridge since Glenn Hoddle left to be England manager 23 years ago.
He has the rare fortune of the chance to manage an elite squad of players in the Champions League and he is not about to take it for granted.
Frank Lampard’s appointment at Chelsea is a positive step for England’s golden generation
The former Chelsea midfielder has returned to the club as boss on a three-year contract
‘I’m pleased as a young British manager to be given this chance,’ said Lampard. ‘It has been something we’ve spoken about a lot and something the FA have worked on. We’ve seen Steven Gerrard, Phil Neville and Scott Parker being given chances.
‘I don’t see it as a responsibility, but I would love to do well, because we are a generation of players who worked under a lot of managers and would have been influenced by a lot of managers and a lot of different qualities.
‘I don’t want to be the standard bearer for young English managers but I would love to do well personally at this club and I would love to see other young English managers come through and be getting these kinds of job.’
Players of Lampard’s era — dubbed the Golden Generation — are beginning to emerge as managers.
Phil Neville has had his chance with the England women’s team, taking them to the World Cup
Gerrard is about to start his second season at Rangers and Neville has reached the World Cup semi-finals with England’s women. John Terry is learning with Dean Smith at Aston Villa and Scott Parker is preparing for a first full campaign in charge of Fulham.
Lee Bowyer has led Charlton back into the Championship, Jonathan Woodgate has taken over at Middlesbrough and Sol Campbell performed one of last season’s most spectacular feats by rescuing Macclesfield from relegation out of the League.
In March 2014, there were only four ex-England internationals managing in England’s top 92 clubs — Nigel Clough at Sheffield United, Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa, Chris Powell at Huddersfield and Keith Curle at Carlisle, with a total of only 25 caps between them.
Clough and Curle are still in work albeit with different clubs but now the new wave is advancing, resisting the lure of TV work to get their coaching qualifications.
Sol Campbell performed one of last season’s most spectacular feats by rescuing Macclesfield
Parker, speaking to Sportsmail in May, said: ‘There were a group of us, myself, Phil Neville, Frank, and the FA have been first-class, looking after us, trying to nurture us, giving us everything possible to be as successful as we can because we all understand how difficult the next step is and how volatile it is. And they’ve done it the right way.
‘One ingredient you need is passion. There’s probably an easy route for the modern-day footballer, because you earn a lot of money, good money and the work of the manager is hard.
‘It’s demanding and stressful, it probably says a lot about us. We’re passionate and we want to be successful and give it a go.’
The FA forced open doors to encourage their elite players into coaching but fashion has also played a part and certain managers can have more of an influence on their players than others.
Steven Gerrard has found himself in the dugout at Rangers and his starting his second season
Many who played for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United have now moved into management and several of Jose Mourinho’s former players are on the same path. Mourinho’s first Premier League game as Chelsea manager was against United at Stamford Bridge in 2004.
On the team-sheet for United were Roy Keane, Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who have all managed.
Chelsea included Petr Cech, back at the Bridge in a technical role, Claude Makelele, set to be appointed to the coaching staff at Chelsea, Paulo Ferreira and Carlo Cudicini, who have been on the backroom team for years, Parker, Terry and Lampard.
Scott Parker, taken on by Fulham, has said the FA have been ‘first class’ in helping hopefuls
Parker added: ‘Frank and John were personalities and people who drove culture, drove standards and drove what the manager wanted.
‘I’d put myself in that sentence because I used to like helping out the manager — and that’s probably why they’re doing what they’re doing.’
Lampard’s first Premier League game back at Stamford Bridge — Leicester City on August 18 — has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports.