Frank Lampard's first experience of Premier League management proved harrowing as Chelsea limped to a 4-0 loss in their season opener at Manchester United.

The fresh-faced Blues boss insisted the scoreline flattered the hosts and found support for his assessment following several promising passages of play.

Yet as a high-profile legend of the competition, curiosity about his coaching qualities will climb until hard evidence is delivered.

Sunday's clash against Leicester City will be Lampard's next opportunity to make a point in the Premier League.

With an eye on the past and Opta data on hand, we look at the likelihood of Chelsea performing a quick turnaround.

 

Sarri's six-goal loss still the nadir

Chelsea were torn asunder in the second half at Old Trafford as a three-goal, 16-minute burst from United made Lampard's managerial debut in the top flight a miserable occasion.

Only two Blues bosses have endured equal or heavier defeats in the club's 27-season Premier League history.

Maurizio Sarri presided over the worst when a Sergio Aguero-inspired Manchester City handed out a 6-0 hammering at the Etihad Stadium in February.

That result intensified the focus on Sarri's future as it occurred barely a week after a 4-0 loss at the hands of Bournemouth, which led the Italian to ponder whether he was capable of motivating his players.

September 1996 marked the only other time Chelsea have suffered a reverse of that magnitude in the Premier League, a late Frank Leboeuf penalty doing little to soothe the pain of a 5-1 failure against Liverpool under Ruud Gullit.

It was the first defeat of the Dutchman's coaching career but, as he went on to prove, an early setback is no impediment to success.

Scolari's strong start no barometer

Gullit had, in fact, started well in the player-coach role at Stamford Bridge, which he accepted following Glenn Hoddle's departure for the England job.

The former AC Milan midfielder won three of his opening five matches and secured two away draws to lay a solid foundation for a season that ended in FA Cup glory.

Of course, not every competent beginning can be viewed as a catalyst for trophies.

Luiz Felipe Scolari oversaw three wins, two draws and a fine tally of 10 goals scored, yet the World Cup winner was out of the job by February.

Sarri and compatriot Carlo Ancelotti boast the best starts among Blues bosses in the Premier League, each attaining a perfect 15 points from their first five fixtures.

Stamford Bridge a setting for success

Of real comfort to Lampard will be the opportunity to get back to London following the long midweek journey to Istanbul for the UEFA Super Cup.

Chelsea's greatest ever goalscorer is adored at Stamford Bridge and the ground has generally brought good fortune for new leaders.

Glenn Hoddle, Gianluca Vialli and the dual management team of Ray Wilkins and Graham Rix are the only bosses to have been beaten in their maiden Premier League home matches.

Three - Ian Porterfield, Avram Grant and Rafael Benitez - recorded draws, while 12 celebrated victories.

Lampard will hope to join the ranks of the latter group; perhaps Chelsea will even seek to cleanse the palate with a 4-0 win, the result Scolari achieved against Portsmouth back in August 2008.

Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt should avoid joining Manchester United this close season, according to Ruud Gullit.

De Ligt, 19, has been linked with numerous European heavyweights, including United, Liverpool and Barcelona, although Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly favourites to sign the centre-back.

Netherlands great Gullit feels his fellow Dutchman should not head to Old Trafford after United missed out on Champions League qualification.

"I don't think Man United, they don't play [in the] Champions League," he said, speaking at the Costa Smeralda Invitational.

"I think he wants to play Champions League. So, that's unfortunate for Man United.

"It's going to be difficult, a lot of them maybe have a UEFA ban, so there's a lot that's going on still. So I hope he makes the right decision for himself."

De Ligt captained Ajax to a domestic double last season, while they also reached the Champions League semi-finals.

Virgil van Dijk must "be better" for Netherlands if he is to win the Ballon d'Or, according to Ruud Gullit.

Gullit called for the Liverpool defender to help cut out the errors that have dogged Ronald Koeman's team.

After winning the Champions League with Liverpool, Van Dijk helped his country reach the Nations League final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal, and Koeman received widespread plaudits for turning the Oranje's fortunes around following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

But Gullit, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1987 ahead of the Netherlands' triumph at the 1988 European Championship, called for Van Dijk to inspire improvement in the Dutch defence.

Speaking about Van Dijk at the Costa Smeralda Invitational golf event, Gullit said: "I think he did really, really well, especially with Liverpool. I think that he was the missing link for them.

"For the national team I still think he needs to be better than that.

"Not him only, but also [Matthijs] De Ligt because out of the last 14 games, 10 games we've been 1-0 down. If you have such a good defence you don't need to concede these goals all the time."

Van Dijk won the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Players' Player of the Year award for his outstanding performances for Liverpool throughout 2018-19, and he is widely considered to be a contender for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

Gullit underlined the difficulty defensive players have in winning world football's most coveted individual prize, pointing out that his former AC Milan team-mate and Italy great Franco Baresi did not collect the award during his career.

The last defender to win it was former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, and Gullit feels the whole Netherlands team would need to step up to help Van Dijk fulfil his potential.

"It has to do with the whole team of course," said Gullit. "It is something that he has to fix. Not he himself but the whole defence, with the whole team, in order to be that player.

"Of course, defenders have not been picked a lot. Baresi should have been picked but never was. So therefore it would be a huge boost for him if he gets picked."

Frank Lampard's lack of managerial experience should not concern Chelsea but they must make sure they get the right people on his staff, according to Ruud Gullit.

The Blues are searching for a new boss after confirming Maurizio Sarri's departure on Sunday, with the Italian leaving Stamford Bridge to take over at Serie A champions Juventus.

Chelsea great Lampard is the favourite to take over despite his coaching CV including just a solitary season in charge of Derby County, who missed out on promotion after losing in the Championship play-off final to Aston Villa.

Yet Chelsea have taken the plunge with inexperienced appointments in the past. Gullit came in as player-coach in 1996, while Gianluca Vialli filled the same role after the Dutchman departed in February 1998.

"Look, he [Lampard] has done nothing yet as a coach. They gave me this opportunity as well - and we won. That has nothing to do with it," Gullit said at the Costa Smeralda Invitational event.

"I think it's important for Chelsea to have somebody who they can relate to - that's what they try to find.

"I hope also that they get the right people around him who can help him.

"So don't make a mistake to get friends there, make sure that you get somebody that has experience in managing and coaching teams and things like that. That would be the best thing for him."

Sarri won the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League in the 2018-19 campaign, yet a section of the club's support failed to warm to him during his reign.

Gullit, however, feels the Italian did a solid job, particularly as he was left to work with a lopsided squad that forced him to play Eden Hazard out of position.

"It's just Chelsea," he said of Sarri's exit. "Every time somebody wins something they're going to get sacked. It's better not to win anything!

"I think he was in a little bit of a difficult situation because of the fact he had three wingers all for the right side. He tried Eden Hazard up front and it didn't work. So he had to play him on the left.

"He kept on rotating with three of them, Pedro, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian, of course. For that reason, they wanted to have the youngster to give the benefit, but Willian is a Brazilian international.

"It was a difficult situation that [Sarri] didn't create. But I think that he did okay. If you see how the rest are, with Liverpool especially and Manchester City, it was difficult to get to first place."

Vincent Kompany will revive a much-loved football tradition when he leaves Manchester City to become player-manager at his boyhood club Anderlecht.

In the era of head coaches and sporting directors, it is rare to find an individual juggling the rigours of playing at the top level while taking charge of a club, but history offers plenty of successful examples for the Belgium international to follow.

Kompany said he has been promised the time, budget, framework and staff support as he aims to revive a once great club, and Anderlecht's supporters will hope he can maintain the form on the field that saw him play a key role in City's historic treble-winning season.

While City fans wish their heroic captain a fond farewell, we look back at five instances where player-managers transformed the fortunes of clubs who trusted them on and off the field.

Glenn Hoddle (Swindon Town, Chelsea)

Glenn Hoddle was, like Kompany, exactly the kind of footballer you would expect to make a good manager: an astute winner with a visionary streak.

At the end of a superb career with Tottenham, Monaco and England, Hoddle took over as player-manager at Swindon Town where he guided the club away from relegation in his first season and delivered promotion to the Premier League in his second, even scoring in the play-off final as the Robins reached the top flight.

Hoddle further enhanced his reputation as player-manager at Chelsea, turning an unfashionable side into an entertaining outfit and signing top European stars like Ruud Gullit and Dan Petrescu to play his brand of passing football.

Ruud Gullit (Chelsea)

Gullit had a year playing under Hoddle at Chelsea in which he could learn the art of player-management, and the Dutch legend made it look easy, guiding Chelsea to FA Cup glory in his first season in charge – the club's first major trophy in 26 years – while anchoring the Blues' midfield alongside Dennis Wise.

Gullit's star quality on and off the field helped to bring Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianluca Vialli to the club, and when chairman Ken Bates decided to sack his side's player-manager in February 1998, Chelsea were second in the Premier League and playing their best football in decades.

Bryan Robson (Middlesbrough)

Back in 1994, Bryan Robson was revered as one of the great captains in English football, having led Manchester United to back-to-back Premier League titles.

His ability to inspire teams and lead by example was similar to Kompany's, and Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson pinned his hopes on Robson being the man to usher in a new football era on Teesside.

Robson did just that, helping to bring Juninho, Emerson, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Nick Barmby to Boro as the club established itself in the top flight of English football, while continuing to play until just 10 days before his 40th birthday.

Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)

When Joe Fagan retired in May 1985, Liverpool turned to 34-year-old striker Kenny Dalglish to take the club forward as player-manager.

Dalglish had already helped the club to win five league titles and his golden touch stayed with him as he delivered a league and FA Cup double in his first season in the dual role.

A further two league titles and another FA Cup followed as the Liverpool legend set the standard for player-managers, maintained his form on the field while being highly effective in the dressing room.

Graeme Souness (Rangers)

Rangers had not won the league in nine years and were languishing in fifth place in the table when Graeme Souness was installed as player-manager in 1986.

The Edinburgh-born midfielder was an immediate success, guiding the Gers to a league and League Cup double in in his first season while losing none of the aggression that characterised his playing style.

He was sent off after 34 minutes of his competitive debut against Hibernian, and later admitted his approach to the game "bordered on being out of order", but Rangers were not complaining: Souness won 125 of his 193 league games in charge.

Danny Rose hopes Tottenham shut former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit up by defeating Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

The England left-back felt the Dutchman had been "rude" about Spurs players in the wake of their 1-0 first-leg defeat in north London last week.

Gullit – a former PSV star and player-manager at Chelsea – was scathing, criticising the technical abilities of the likes of Rose, Victor Wanyama and Dele Alli.

But Spurs stunned Ajax in the return fixture at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, sensationally winning 3-2 to progress to the Champions League final on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw – Lucas Moura scoring a hat-trick.

Mauricio Pochettino's men looked to be heading to a comprehensive defeat when Ajax went 2-0 up on the day before half-time, but Lucas netted his third in the 96th minute to complete an unlikely turnaround.

Rose was happy to hit back at Gullit following remarks he believes were disrespectful.

"Seeing people's comments like Ruud Gullit after the first game and how rude he was, it's nice we fought back and hopefully shut him up," Rose said.

"He was very critical of individual players and saying how bad we were technically, and he's bang out of order for that.

"That was fuel to the fire and hopefully he eats his words."

Former Chelsea player-manager Ruud Gullit dismissed Maurizio Sarri's explanation of his clash with Kepa Arrizabalaga in the EFL Cup final, claiming it was merely a "political answer".

Sarri was furious late in extra time against Manchester City as Kepa, who had twice gone down injured, appeared to refuse his coach's substitution, with Willy Caballero ready to come on.

The match finished 0-0 and Kepa then let Sergio Aguero's poor penalty slip under his body in the shoot-out, with Sarri seemingly having to be kept away from the goalkeeper at the end of the 120 minutes.

Later, both player and coach explained the incident away as a "misunderstanding", but Gullit is sceptical of that defence.

The Netherlands great, who spent almost three years at Chelsea, managing the team in the latter two, believes Sarri's crazed actions on the touchline betrayed his true feelings on the matter.

"The captain [Cesar Azpilicueta] should have gone up to [Kepa] and said 'Go off'," Gullit told BBC Sport.

"[Sarri's response] is just a political answer for the newspapers so there is no confusion the next day. Everybody knows what happened. The way he reacted on the touchline says everything."

Gullit says he would not have accepted a similar stance from a player when he was coach, describing Sarri's decision to back down and allow Kepa to stay on as "crazy".

"You would go crazy," he said. "After a while, he had to accept the fact that he didn't want to go off. That was crazy.

"He had to stay there and say 'You have to come off now'."

Maurizio Sarri should think twice before going public with criticism of his Chelsea players, Ruud Gullit has warned.

The Italian questioned his team's mentality after last weekend's 2-0 loss at Arsenal, but Thursday's penalty shoot-out victory over Tottenham in the EFL Cup semi-final represented a telling response.

After that game, Hazard was asked about Sarri's comments and insisted "I don't care", with Gullit suggesting it was a bad idea for a manager to speak negatively about their squad. 

"It is very, very risky to criticise your players in public like Sarri did this week – even if you know you are right," Gullit wrote in a BBC Match of the Day column.

"Sometimes as a manager you really want to be open about what you are thinking, good or bad, and for the right reasons. You are hoping your players respond in the right way.

"But if that openness is misinterpreted by them, then you have more problems.

"What you really don't want is a situation that plays out in the media like the one we have just seen at Chelsea. The only people who benefit when that happens are the newspapers."

On the subject of Sarri's specific criticism of star man Hazard and the Belgian's response, Gullit was unequivocal, telling Sarri to "shut up".

"Sarri spoke about Hazard, calling him an individual and not a leader, and then Hazard responded by basically saying he does not care what his manager thinks, he is still going to do his thing – so shut up," he said.

"That is already a sign of what can go wrong when you call your players out.

"I have never really felt like Sarri's job was at risk through all this but, if they keep talking about each other then, as a manager, he is in trouble.

"That has nothing to do with the power of the player involved, either.

"Yes, Hazard is Chelsea's best player, and they rely on him too much, but it is the whole dressing room that Sarri has to handle here and keep happy, not just an individual."

Chelsea host Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday and will take on Manchester City in the EFL Cup final next month. 

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