Obviously the era of Eddie McCreadie as a footballer and as a manager was before my time. My dad has always spoken so fondly of those great Chelsea teams of the early 1970’s and still speaks of them today. It was only last week we were talking about the likelihood of Frank Lampard becoming the new manager of Chelsea and he said he remembers many similarities of Eddie McCreadie returning to Chelsea as manager.
Picture via chelseafc.com
Eddie played for Chelsea as a left back between 1962 – 1973 making 410 appearances in all competitions. He also captained the team over 50 times. Eddie carried on playing football after he left Chelsea before returning to the club as manager in April 1975.
Picture via birminghammail.co.uk
Chelsea did not have the money back then like we do now and Eddie couldn’t stop the team from being relegated with just a few games remaining.
The following season Chelsea had to rely on youth players and the experienced one’s that were already there. The money wasn’t there to be spent and in some ways you can draw a comparison to our current transfer ban. Eddie made 18 year old Ray Wilkins captain of the team and had to make the difficult decision of overlooking club veteran and ex team mate John Hollins. I’m sure this turned a few heads at the time and Frank will have to make tough decisions himself.
It took time for Eddie to introduce his own footballing ideas and Chelsea finished 11th in the second division. As the club were very much in transition Eddie with his lack of managerial experience stayed on as manager and the team were promoted back to the top flight the following season coming second in 1977.
Picture via bbc.co.uk
I appreciate there’s over 40 years of difference between the era’s but there are most certainly some similarities between Eddie and Frank’s situation.
Come On Chelsea!
Written By Chris Wright