John Barnes has insisted that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard did not deserve his nomination for Premier League manager of the season.
Lampard steered Chelsea to a Champions League place during a challenging first year at the helm.
He was shortlisted for the award along with Liverpool’s title-winning boss Jurgen Klopp. Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.
Former Liverpool and England star Barnes, who grew up in west London, believes Lampard deserves credit – but not a nomination for the manager’s award.
“I don’t necessarily think he should be up there as manager of the season. There’s only one manager of the season and that is Jurgen Klopp.
“But that doesn’t mean I don’t think he has a done a good job over the past season.
“The way Lampard has conducted himself has been great, given a lot of the issues he had to deal with at the start of the season, including the transfer ban.”
Chelsea ‘will become more competitive’
Chelsea have added to their attacking options with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, with more new arrivals in the pipeline.
But Barnes does not believe Lampard’s side will be title contenders as a result.
He said: “I definitely feel like Chelsea can challenge for the top four again next season, but I don’t necessarily think they can challenge Manchester City and Liverpool just yet.
“However, they will become more competitive and get closer to the top two teams in the Premier League with the signings they have made.
“Signing Ziyech, Werner and potentially more is clearly a strong indication that Chelsea are there to compete next season.
“I am sure they will be in the top four again, but I don’t think they will be ready to make a move for first or second place in the league just yet.”