Football

Report: Lampard Had 'Secret Interview' For Villa Job Before Gerrard Move

Report: Lampard Had 'Secret Interview' For Villa Job Before Gerrard Move

Lampard or Gerrard? It seems Aston Villa were sold on the latter of the two.

Just as one former England international and long-time Premier League midfielder was chosen for the Aston Villa job - another was snubbed.

Reports suggest former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard underwent a 'secret interview' to replace the outgoing Dean Smith.

It comes amid a turbulent two weeks for Premier League managers. The departure was of Daniel Farke from Norwich City left them in the hunt for a replacement too.

Lampard reportedly interviewed for the Norwich job while on holiday abroad but took his name out of the running. They went with Smith after being impressed by his interview.

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Lampard's Managerial Purgatory

The 2005 Ballon d'Or runner-up has been out of managerial circles since he was sacked by Chelsea in January. Aston Villa and Norwich aren't the only clubs he was in the running for.

Lampard interviewed for the vacant Crystal Palace job but it seemed the two didn't share the same philosophies. Palace went with another former Premier League midfielder in Patrick Vieira.

Where does this leave him? There's plenty of speculation out there that he's waiting for the right job. Some suggest he's monitoring the situation at Man United.

If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer parts ways at Old Trafford, a lot of people feel that Brendan Rodgers could be the right man to take that job.

Lampard would then put his name in the hat to take over at Leicester. Whether Leicester are interested or that move is on the horizon, it's all hearsay for now.

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But the situation at Leicester City isn't too dissimilar from Lampard's days managing Chelsea. There's plenty of young talent, including some bright English prospects, for Lampard to influence.

Days Gone At Chelsea

Can you look back on Lampard's days managing Chelsea as a success? Unfortunately, the situation was complicated. A transfer ban during his tenure is one example.

Then there's the case of Chelsea's owners. Owner Roman Abramovich apparently doesn't control the footballing side of things at the club, but he isn't afraid to overturn managers.

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Regardless of being a club legend or not - being a relatively unproven manager at a club like Chelsea almost seemed like it was destined to fail before it began.

Lampard did guide Chelsea to fourth in the Premier League and an FA Cup final in his first year in charge. It's likely those higher up in the club had bigger expectations.

His time at Chelsea will be most fondly remembered for bringing through younger talent. The likes of Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham all thrived when called up.

But his days at Chelsea are far behind him now. It's not going to be long before he finds the right fit if there's a club out there that decides to back him.

See Also: Three Republic Of Ireland Players Make Whoscored's Group A Best XI

Republic of Ireland

Jonathan Byrne

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