Frank Lampard’s appointment as Chelsea manager came as a surprise to former team-mate John Obi Mikel, with John Terry expected to be first into a coaching post at Stamford Bridge.
Two Blues legends took the decision to move into the dugout after calling time on their respective playing careers. Terry was first to take the plunge, with an assistant role taken on at Aston Villa.
Lampard, meanwhile, cut his teeth with Derby – guiding them to the Championship play-off final in 2018-19. That would be the only season he spent with the Rams, with the opportunity to return to familiar surroundings presenting itself over the summer.
With Maurizio Sarri leaving Chelsea and the club being stung with a two-window transfer ban, the west London outfit were in need of inspiration.
Lampard was asked to provide it , with the ex-England international having impressed to this point after deciding to show considerable faith in academy graduates. Mikel told 61 Saat of seeing a one-time colleague filling a prominent Premier League post: “I am very happy for Frank. “When we were playing at Chelsea we were expecting that John Terry and he would be very good managers.
But we were expecting Terry to reach that level first. “Lampard made a big step. I hope he will be successful at Chelsea for many more years. “I also want to see John Terry in similar jobs in future because he was our leader on the pitch.”
Terry has stated his intention to take a top job at some stage, but is enjoying working alongside Dean Smith at Villa for now.
It could be that he is offered his own road back to Chelsea in the future, with the Blues prepared to put trust in famous faces of the past. That may lead Mikel back to west London as well, with the Nigerian joking that he would happily step in as Lampard’s right-hand man when the day comes for him to hang up his boots.
The 32-year-old midfielder, who is currently with Trabzonspor, added: “His arrival at Chelsea means the club are caring for their legends. “I joked with him after the Chelsea move: I want to be his assistant when I retire.”