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Frank Lampard takes over as Chelsea caretaker boss

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nicholas Mendola discuss Frank Lampard's return to Chelsea in a caretaker role and whether the club is "scrambling" to find its way forward in the wake of Graham Potter's dismissal.

Frank Lampard is back in charge of Chelsea as he has returned in a caretaker role to lead the Blues between now and the end of the season.

[ MORE: Who should be the next Chelsea manager? ]

Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer is back for his second spell in charge of the Blues as he led to them to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and an FA Cup final in the 2019-20 season as he steered them through a very difficult spell off the pitch.

He was sacked just a few months into the 2020-21 campaign, as Thomas Tuchel replaced him and then won the UEFA Champions League that season.

Lampard now has the chance to win that competition himself as he will be in charge for Chelsea’s final nine Premier League games and the small matter of a Champions League quarterfinal versus Real Madrid.

Chelsea announced that Lampard will be ‘caretaker manager until the end of the season’ but if he wins the Champions League (a big if), then maybe he will stay around for longer?

Chelsea statement on Frank Lampard’s return

Co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said the following: “We are delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge. Frank is a Premier League Hall of Famer and a legend at this club. As we continue our thorough and exhaustive process for a permanent head coach, we want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season.

“We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.

“We have an important game against Wolves on Saturday and then we will turn our attention to our Champions League quarter-final in Madrid next week. We are all going to give Frank our full backing as we aim to get the best possible outcome from all our remaining games.”

Where are Chelsea at?

Bruno Saltor took the reins for Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday, after Graham Potter was fired on Sunday, and the Blues were much better and looked a totally side with N’Golo Kante back fit and dominating midfield.

Lampard has managed three clubs since retiring from his legendary playing career with Chelsea but the England centurion was fired by Everton this season and Chelsea two years before, with both teams looking better following his exit (early days for Everton, but Chelsea won the Champions League after he left).

His first job at Derby County saw him take the Championship team back to the playoffs and got him the job at his beloved Chelsea.

Is Lampard a clear upgrade on Saltor, and wouldn’t the Blues be needlessly opening a door to the past if for some reason he has early success in his caretaker tenure?

Especially with Chelsea in the Champions League quarterfinal, bringing a caretaker boss aboard would seem to threaten the long-term prospects of a coaching search already said to be capable of reaching the summer.

What do you think? Are we being overcritical and overthinking it?

And as far as waiting for summer, it must be very appealing for prospective bosses to take the wheel now.

How many years do you get to manage a guaranteed Champions League quarterfinal (even if it is against near-serial finalists Real Madrid)?

Follow @NicholasMendola