So they finally went and did it!
As second comings go – even considering Mourinho, Drogba and Osgood – you'd be forgiven for feeling there's been none bigger since a day in the Middle East around two millennia back.
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But Frank Lampard, Chelsea's new first team coach, will not be a miracle worker.
And he arrives at a time of unprecedented strife for the club: a transfer ban, the loss of Eden Hazard, an owner who hasn't set foot in the place for quite some time.
When it comes to managerial experience, nobody will claim Lampard is the best qualified for the job.
But in terms of shared suffering of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and in leading an army of support in taking arms against a sea of troubles – well, this prince couldn't be better carved out for the job.
Lampard's return, like so much of his career, is near Shakespearian in it's dramatic nature.
He will be welcomed like a returning hero – which is exactly what he is.
But the biggest question he will have to answer is whether he can transfer from being one of the greatest soldiers, into a new life as a general – able to command a reputation as fierce as contemporaries Guardiola or Zidane.
Chelsea, of course, are not in the market for a Pep or a Zizou – so, in this appointment, they are seeking to create one of their own.
They have chosen sentiment and popularity over hard yards and trophies – which, to a regular hard-headed businessman, will sound calamitous.
But football is a hard-headed business, laced with sentiment and popularity, like no other. You cannot go anywhere without them, as some of the bosses in Chelsea's history will tell you.
There is the tendency to see this as a forced appointment – the last chance saloon for a club that has whittled away so many coaches over the last decade and a half.
And so much of the talk is about the allowances that will be made for him, the time he will be given to breathe, the depths to which his Chelsea will be permitted to plummet.
Chelsea do not employ submarine captains – at least, if they do, they don't stay in control for long.
Among Lampard's biggest challenges will be moving up to that officer class, while occupying the same space as those with whom he has previously shared private status.

Frank Lampard had a a hugely successful spell as a player at Stamford Bridge

Image credit: PA Sport

It's a tough ask in any workplace; but in the highly pressurised environment of football, where team orders can often be harsh, he will need to show he can deliver unpopular news for the benefit of the club.
But, by dint of all of those special conditions, and his extra special status, Lampard will be given time and space.
Unlike every predecessor, under Roman Abramovich's ownership, it is not possible to point towards a set of targets that must be met.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been praised for his commitment to the club fighting against anti-Semitism

Image credit: PA Sport

He just needs to steady the ship, keep the crew happy, give people their Chelsea back. At least - at first.
But, as with Guardiola and Zidane, there is every chance that he will be able to do all that – and a good deal more.
Many have already noted that one of this new administration's biggest assets will be it's encyclopaedic knowledge of the club's youth talent - largely in the form of Lampard's assistant, Jody Morris.
The call from all quarters, in times of disarray, to 'play that youth!' will finally come to pass this season - by necessity of that transfer ban. But Morris' presence will mean Chelsea have the very best chance of succeeding with that ploy.

Frank Lampard manager of Derby County (C) flanked by Assistant manager Jody Morris (L) and First Team Coach Chris Jones (R) during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Derby,

Image credit: Getty Images

These truly are uncharted waters – for coach, for club, for fans.
And all three will jointly conspire, in the hope of making this a success.
Lampard will be carried in on a throne – and all around will bow before him.
But he will also know that coaches with far better reputations than his have been fed to the lions for achieving things that a man with only one season in the Championship could only dream about.
This much is certain: it will be wild.
Stamford Bridge will kick every ball together; celebrate every win as one; mourn every loss as if it were a member of the family.
Super Frank is back. All he needs to do now is find where he left that cape.
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