The Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month award for October has gone to Frank Lampard, recognising Chelsea’s 100 per cent record in the competition in that month.
It is the first time Lampard has won this honour. He was nominated along with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Brighton’s Graham Potter, Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers and Dean Smith of Aston Villa but our away wins at Southampton and Burnley which sandwiched the home victory over Newcastle meant the Blues were the only team to take maximum points in October.
The winner was decided by votes cast online by supporters combined with those from a panel of selected football experts.
On receiving the award, Lampard spoke to the official Chelsea website and said:
‘Winning an individual award like this, my first one at the club, it is the perfect time to appreciate the close staff who have worked so hard since pre-season and the players, as they are the ones who go out and perform. I am delighted for everybody.
‘I would probably say out of the Premier League games we played in October, the one away against Burnley was the highlight because of the way we were so dominant in our performance and Burnley is a very tough place to go. People may have questioned the fact that we are a young team and with the physical nature of the challenge, but we responded very well and played some really good football.
‘It was a tight turnaround after a big performance physically for the lads at Ajax and with the travel back. To go up to Burnley at any time is difficult but we managed the game really well.’
Lampard joins the likes of current England boss Gareth Southgate and one of his former team-mates at West Ham, Stuart Pearce, in having won both the Premier League Player of the Month and Manager of the Month. While it took Lampard over six years from making his Premier League debut to collecting the first of his four player accolades, he has won the manager one just three months into his career as a top-flight manager.
‘I won’t get excited,’ he says at that thought, ‘because these awards are also very nice as they keep you grounded. You realise the hard work put in to do that because of the competition from teams like Leicester with Brendan Rodgers performing so well, and others as well. All the nominees are very worthy in their own ways so I appreciate that. It also makes you realise that to get these things again or regularly, we have to all keep working to improve.’
Did Lampard think at the start of the season the potential was there in his squad to achieve a 100 per cent record in one month so early in the season?
‘I do believe in the group,’ he says, ‘but I also understand how hard the Premier League is and the competition and teams like Liverpool and Man City, who have recently found consistency that others have not matched, so it just shows you the levels.
‘It was a good month for us and it took a lot of hard work to get those results, each and every one of them. It is a good marker to show us what we need to achieve long term if we want to be successful.’