Frank Lampard's first two seasons as Newcastle United manager predicted after takeover
Ex-Derby and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is one of the favourites to be appointed as the new manager of Newcastle United following their recent £300 million takeover.
Many Magpies fans are expecting Bruce to be relieved of his duties after their poor start to the season, and it's looking increasingly likely that the 60-year-old is heading towards the exit at St James' Park after the Saudi Arabian PIF consortium completed a deal to take over the club from Mike Ashley.
Lampard is just one possibility from a number of candidates to replace Bruce on Tyneside, which would make Newcastle the third club he has managed since retiring from his playing career in 2017.
So, if Bruce was to be sacked and Lampard was to be appointed in his place, what would the outcome be?
To have a look, we simulated the remainder of this season and the entirety of the next in Football Manager 2021 with Lampard in charge of Newcastle United.
Frank Lampard's first two seasons as Newcastle United manager simulated
To set up this simulation, we arranged for Lampard to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle United after seven Premier League games and simulated until the end of the 2022/23 season to see how the English manager performed.
We also edited the Football Manager 2021 game save file to update all transfers as of October 8, 2021. We also removed Mike Ashley as the club's owner, replaced him with the new ownership structure and made a number of changes, including setting the new owners as Sugar Daddy (foreground), which means they will back the club in the transfer market and increasing the club's reputation, allowing them to attract more high-profile players and managers.
This is Lampard's in-game profile on Football Manager 2021.
Lampard's preferred formation is a 4-2-3-1 (wide), which would suit the squad at his disposal at present but could see the team left slightly weaker in defence to make way for an extra attacker or midfielder.
The 43-year-old's preferred style of play revolves around quick passing and possession-based football, which would see Newcastle evolve from a counter-attacking side to one that looks to control games.
So, where did Newcastle finish in both of Lampard's seasons? Let's take a look.
Newcastle's 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons under Lampard
Lampard was able to stop the club from being relegated in the 2021/22 season, leading the Toon to a 14th placed finish.
Whilst it wasn't the ideal first season for Lampard on Tyneside, The 43-year-old led the side out of a relegation battle and his tactics saw Newcastle finish the season just eight points away from European football qualification which shows the progress made with Lampard in the dugout at St. James' Park.
In his first full season, Lampard accessed the new owner's wealth and put it to good use in the transfer market, signing multiple new players to fit his system and strengthen the squad available to him.
Newcastle spent £187million in Lampard's first full season on Tyneside, including Kingsley Coman (£72million) from Bayern Munich, Dele Alli (£32million) from Spurs, Rick Karsdorp (£30million) from Roma, Hakan Calhanoglu (£23.5million) from Inter Milan and Mario Hermoso (£15.25million) from Atletico Madrid.
At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2021 put together an overall best Newcastle 11, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.
This is what the Magpies’ best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2021.
Newcastle's best XI: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Hermoso, Lewis; Longstaff, Willock, Saint-Maximin, Alli, Fraser; Wilson.
Lampard opted for his favoured 4-2-3-1 (wide) formation, as new signings Dele Alli and Mario Hermoso both featured in the best XI after one and a half seasons in charge at Newcastle.
In the 2022/23 season with Lampard in charge and a stronger squad, the Magpies flew up the table to claim a seventh-place finish in the league, missing out on Europa Conference League qualification as Spurs won the Carabao Cup, beating the Toon 3-0 at Wembley.
The Magpies boasted one of the best away records in the Premier League, finishing fifth overall in an away table from the 2022/23 season.
When comparing the two seasons, the addition of Hermoso proved to be a significant one as the Spaniard helped Newcastle concede 12 fewer goals in the 2022/23 season compared to the 2021/22 season.
The improved squad and new play style also saw the likes of Callum Wilson and Sant-Maximin thrive in attack, with the former scoring 14 goals in his league campaign.
Overall, Football Manager 2021 predicts that if Newcastle were to appoint Frank Lampard as their new manager to replace Steve Bruce, the 43-year-old’s tactics and style of play, paired with significant investment, could lead a big improvement in performance for the Magpies this season and next.
In just one and a half seasons, Lampard took the Toon from 14th to seventh place in the Premier League in our simulation, giving the new owners a great platform to build on moving forward.
Do you think Frank Lampard would be a good appointment at Newcastle United? Let us know in the comments below!