Frank Lampard, the man who came from West Ham at the age of 22, became Chelsea’s all-time Premier League top goal scorer scoring 177 goals from midfield. He won 3 Barclays Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and most famously, 1 Champions League.
After Lampard’s extraordinary footballing career, he went into managing. So far, he has managed Derby, Chelsea, Everton and Chelsea again on an interim role.
Lampard joined Chelsea as manager in the summer of 2019. In 2019, Chelsea got placed with a transfer ban, preventing them from buying any players throughout the entire season, so the expectations for Lampard weren’t as high as previous managers in the past. That season Chelsea managed to finish 4th in the Premier League putting them into Champions League.
“I think in the first year we weren’t perfect, but I like to think that Chelsea fans would look and go yes, we can, there were some games at where we played, and I remember we played Brighton at home, and they didn’t get out of their own half.”
Lampard could take many positives out of his first season with Chelsea as he was a very inexperienced manager coming into his first Premier League job and managing to get them into Champions League spots. However, the second season was opposite. Chelsea no longer had their transfer ban and owner Roman Abramovic then invested over 250 million pounds on players like Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell, this put the pressure on Lampard as the expectation were to improve on the season before.
Lampard then went onto get sacked in the same season in January in 9th place of the Premier League 5 points behind 4th place Liverpool.
“It hurt, it hurt a lot because I still felt like that, we were working towards something and what had happened for sure was that bringing in these players had changed the aspect, so from being a pretty on playing a 4-3-3 formation where we got some great results including Tottenham away.
“But when we changed and bought players in, I had different problems, coaching problems, okay what’s going to get the best out of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz what is his best position and there were issues.
“There were more some players that were brought in as a club thing and then you have to try and integrate them, that’s how I saw it.”
” In that period, I was striving to solve a hundred problems and now as I came away, I went, ‘don’t get in that position again Frank’.”
Lampard then returned to Chelsea as interim manager meaning that he is only in charge until Chelsea found a new manager but in this case was manager until the season had ended. He only managed to win one game in 9 games for Chelsea in the Premier League. Lampard really struggled in his second spell as Chelsea manager due to having a squad of 32 players which would be a struggle to any manager.
“When I got there, I could tell that the team spirit and togetherness was not there.”
“Every week was the same, I’d have to say, you’re not playing, next you’re not playing and eventually they would go to you I know I’m not playing stop telling me this.”
Over the summer Chelsea appointed former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino as the successor of Lampard after his short-term spell as Chelsea manager. The Chelsea board thought that Mauricio Pochettino was the perfect man to succeed after Lampard due his experience after spell at Tottenham and PSG after managing elite players like Neymar and Mbappe.
“I listened to Pochettino’s first press conference, and he spoke very well, and he spoke about bringing a unity to the training ground and the family feel and winning which is the Chelsea DNA, so I think they have got a good manager in charge.
“They must have some patience when putting everything together, sp I think as things settle which may not be straight away, there will be a positive future for the club
“To Chelsea fans, I appreciate their support even in my playing career, it’s nice when you finish playing because you’re playing career is there, and I can look back on it with a lot of pleasure for a lot of the good moments.”
Although overall Frank Lampard didn’t achieve what he would have wanted to as Chelsea manager that’s not what Chelsea fans will remember him for, they will remember him for the achievements that he won as a player.