Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder thinks Chelsea’s Frank Lampard was “destined” to become a manager.
The two meet at Stamford Bridge tomorrow as their sides compete in the Premier League. It’s not their first meeting of course, with Lampard managing Derby County last season against the Blades.
The results were close then, with Derby winning 2-1 at home before Wilder got the better of his younger counterpart with a 3-1 victory at Bramall Lane.
It’s an entirely different prospect in the top flight, with the six-time winners of the competition the clear favourites against a newly promoted side.
Some have been critical of Lampard getting such a high profile job with such little managerial experience. Yet Wilder thinks it was inevitable.
“The manager that they’ve got undoubtedly wants to be just as successful as a manager as he was as an outstanding player for that football club. He wants to carve a reputation,” the 51-year-old told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“You talk about players destined to be managers and I think Frank was always going to be one of those.
“There’s some outstanding English managers in the Premier League who have been there for a while now in Eddie (Howe) and Sean Dyche. I should imagine Frank wants to be successful at a different level.”
Can Sheffield United get the better of Frank Lampard?
The two opponents have had relatively similar starts to the new campaign, with both having four points after three matches.
Wilder says he doesn’t like the term “free hit” when referring to the Blades’ trip to west London. He believes his team have to back themselves to get a result and if they do, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
Wilder is probably right, because as dangerous as the Blues have looked going forwards so far this term, they seem equally as fallible in defence.
Lampard’s young side have already conceded six league goals in 2019/20. If there was ever an opportunity for Wilder to leave the Bridge with something, this is it.