Lampard ‘favourite’ for Norwich City job, Leeds United join title race – F365’s Championship Spotlight

Lewis Oldham
Lampard return to Championship
Liam Manning, Frank Lampard and Joe Edwards.

Championship Spotlight focuses on the managerial merry-go-round with Frank Lampard being lined up by Norwich City after Bristol City and Millwall make moves…


Wagner won our hearts during his memorable spell at Huddersfield Town. Still, the lovable German has suffered a major fall from grace since guiding the Yorkshire side to the Premier League (and remarkably saving them from relegation in their first season).

Underwhelming spells at Schalke and Young Boys preceded a return to the Championship with Norwich City and he’s now on the brink of the sack after less than a year in charge.

After a poor end to last season, Norwich’s promising start to this campaign has been undone by a dismal six-game winless run which has seen them slip down to 17th in the Championship.

There are still only eight points between the Canaries and the play-off places but it is never a good sign for a manager when it’s being reported that their club are lining up a replacement; TEAMtalk sources reckon a loss to Cardiff City this weekend ‘will almost definitely spell the end of Wagner’s time at Norwich’ and Lampard is the ‘favourite’ to replace him.

Lampard‘s managerial career has left much to be desired, with his reigns at Derby County, Chelsea, Everton and Chelsea again ranging from average to desperately poor.

The Chelsea legend’s appetite for management does not seem to be wavering, though. And he does at least deserve credit for swerving the Saudi Pro League money-grab for life back in the Championship if his arrival at Norwich is finalised.

There are much tougher jobs around at Norwich, but expectations will be high upon Lampard’s arrival with promotion back to the Premier League bound to be the club’s long-term goal.

Lampard was unable to get over the promotion line with a Derby side far superior to this current Norwich team in comparison, but perhaps his best asset as a coach is his development of young players and if given time, he could effectively rebuild the Canaries like he was on track to achieve with Chelsea before Todd Boehly arrived with his big bucks.

Rangers-linked Lampard
Frank Lampard on the touchline.


From one potential manager change to another that’s been finalised as Bristol City have ousted veteran boss Nigel Pearson and replaced him with up-and-coming head coach, Liam Manning.

The 38-year-old’s recent career progression illustrates how quickly a manager’s reputation can alter. He was the belle of the ball in the Football League after getting MK Dons to the brink of League One promotion in 2021/22 but he was sacked before the end of 2022 with them battling relegation to League Two.

Manning was afforded an opportunity to reestablish his flailing credentials with Oxford United and he just (which coincided with the demise of MK Dons) saved them from relegation last season. He was subsequently given the wheel to lead their upward project with added funds being provided for a tilt at promotion.

This project got off to a dream start as they are in the League One automatic promotion places after 15 games. So the anger directed at Manning – who has jumped ship at the first opportunity – from Oxford’s board and fans is pretty justified.

His exit will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Oxford and this managerial switch emphasises again that there is a lack of loyalty in the modern game. But on the other side, Manning is rightly in business for himself and he’s taking on a great opportunity at Bristol City.

The Robins acted wisely during the summer transfer window but they were stagnating in the Championship bottom half under Pearson and Manning’s arrival may be the exact injection of optimism required to overcome their slump.

Like Ryan Lowe at Preston, Manning *should* be given time to rebuild Bristol City in his image and the decision to go out with the old and in with the new has the potential to be an inspired choice.


The Lions are further along in the development phase than Bristol City as they consistently flirted with the play-off positions under Gary Rowett only to fall short during the run-in.

Millwall are now attracting a higher calibre of a player with Zian Flemming and Casper De Norre among their eye-catching recent recruits but Rowett arguably took them as far as he could and supporters were growing sick of his uninspiring style of play.

The London outfit require a manager who can take them to that next level, which is to become a serious promotion contender. They were initially expected to appoint Championship specialist Nathan Jones, but they have instead gone for Joe Edwards, who was formerly Lampard’s assistant at Everton and Chelsea.

As hilariously bad as Jones’ spell at Southampton was, he is still pretty well-regarded in the Championship so it is somewhat surprising that he is yet to find himself back in the managerial hot seat at this level.

He would have been a boring but sensible appointment for Millwall and in previous times, he would have been the man they went for. But they are on the up and they have opted to take a risk by appointing Edwards, who is highly-respected as a coach but is yet to have a job in senior management.

Recent signs suggest the Championship is now a young man’s game, with Enzo Maresca, Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick among those taking the league by storm. And if Edwards can adapt to life in the second-tier as well as those three, Millwall will be onto a winner.


Up to now, this season’s Championship automatic promotion race has been dominated by two teams: Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

The high-flying duo have just three defeats between them from 30 games but after threatening to run away from the chasing pack, they have shown signs of weakness of late.

Ipswich are the top scorers in the division with 33 goals and they are the Championship’s entertainers under McKenna, but he will be wary of their worrying defensive record with six goals conceded in their last three games against Plymouth Argyle, Birmingham City and Rotherham United.

Two straight draws have seen Ipswich’s advantage over third-placed Leeds United reduced to eight points and Daniel Farke’s team handed Leicester City only their second defeat of the season last weekend.

Leicester’s 13 wins in 15 games indicate they will be difficult to stop in the race for the title, but they came unstuck against Leeds, who produced a superb away performance to win 1-0.

The Foxes *should* prove to be too good for the rest like Burnley did last year, but Ipswich’s recent results will give hope to Leeds (who are hitting their stride) and Southampton, who admittedly may not have the consistency required to seriously trouble the contenders to the top two.

A finish in the play-offs would still mark a brilliant season for Ipswich, but they have shown they are capable of more than that and they will surely be hoping that the Premier League vultures swoop in to snatch Leeds United’s Crysencio Summerville and Wilfried Gnonto in January.

FEATURE: Cardiff City pair join Leeds United, Leicester, Ipswich sextet in Championship XI of the season so far