Legends with differing experiences in the dugout: Richard Buxton
Club legends have had differing fortunes in the dugout
Frank Lampard has already succeeded where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is continuing to fail.
Appointing a decorated former player as manager has become a poisoned chalice, with the initial feel-good factor of the Norwegian's return to Manchester United sharply giving way to scrutiny.
Success-laden playing spells are no guarantees of success in the dugout.
But Lampard has made himself an exception.
Around four months into his tenure, the Blues legend heads into tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) League Cup fourth-round clash against the Red Devils in a stronger position than Solskjaer, who has warmed the United hot seat for almost 11 months.
CLOSING IN ON MAN CITY
Four straight English Premier League wins have seen the Blues snapping at the heels of second-placed Manchester City in the league's upper echelons, with Lampard's men just two points adrift of the champions.
Anyone ruling out a left-field title challenge from Stamford Bridge does so at their own peril.
United's points tally, meanwhile, says they are closer to the relegation zone than a Champions League spot.
Throwing medals on the table counts for little when making the transition to the touchline.
- CHELSEA: 7 wins
- MAN UNITED: 3 wins, 3 draws, 1 loss
Solskjaer won twice as many as Lampard's three EPL titles, yet is falling behind the Englishman in the managerial stakes.
Chelsea's stockpiling habits are a key reason that they are currently ahead of the curve.
A transfer ban forced the west Londoners into utilising the collective wealth of experience that their one-time loan army possesses to spring an early-season surprise.
By contrast, the Red Devils are damned by their comfort zone.
Instead of kicking on away from the Old Trafford bubble, many of Solskjaer's players have been reduced to kicking their heels.
An inability to evolve beyond the previous status quo also underlines the north-south divide.
Eden Hazard's inevitable departure last summer forced Lampard to confront the Europa League holders' major shortcomings.
They had become far too reliant on the mercurial Belgian and lacked a contingency plan when he suffered from rare dips in form.
In harnessing previously forgotten youth and blooding in Christian Pulisic, the Real Madrid winger's heir apparent, the Chelsea manager is refusing to be caught in a time warp.
A comprehensive 4-2 win over Burnley last Saturday saw them set a new standard in EPL statistics.
They already hold the distinction of having two different players under the age of 22 scoring hat-tricks in a single campaign, with Pulisic's Turf Moor haul mirroring Tammy Abraham's treble against Wolverhampton Wanderers last month.
If only the same could be said for Solskjaer and the misty-eyed attempts to recapture the spirit of 1999.
United's desperate bid to turn back the clock to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson has seen more finger-pointing than soul-searching amid their worst start for 30 years.
Old Trafford's current incumbent has not helped matters in attempting to ride the crest of a wave with unhelpful grandiose talk matched by that of several of his former teammates.
United surpassed expectations in Solskjaer's opening 12 EPL games.
But they have subsequently plummeted to fresh depths in the already-low bar that is the post-Ferguson era.
Their expected goals, both for and against, this season do not tally with the harsh realities.
Talk remains cheap and Lampard is clearly mindful of the risk that comes with overhyping personnel and results.
Tomorrow's visitors to the Bridge were prematurely hailing a renaissance when they put Chelsea to the sword on the EPL's opening weekend, courtesy of a 4-0 rout.
Little over two months on, Lampard is enjoying a genuine honeymoon period that is unlikely to be threatened, even if they bow out of the League Cup.
Solskjaer's United reign, however, is perennially one bad result away from being on the rocks.