With today being a match day, Frank Lampard will be breaking from his normal routine of most mornings prior to training, a routine he explains is important to him.
Because the squad stay in a hotel overnight prior to the lunchtime kick-off at Stamford Bridge, there must be some changes to the usual weekday schedule, otherwise this morning our manager would be out walking his dog Minnie. It is one of the structures to his day he categorises as bordering on superstition with others including what time he leaves for training and what boots he wears when he gets there. Superstitious, but not irrelevant.
‘It can be quite awkward,’ Lampard admits. ‘I walk the dog at a certain time on certain days and before training I will take her down to the local coffee shop, get my takeaway coffee and walk her at a certain time for a certain route. Nothing that exciting!
‘I walk the dog a lot and I find it is good for clearing the head and for that, I like going to the gym as well. That is another one of my superstitions. I have to do exactly the same amount of time on the bike, 50 minutes, or the exact same route that I run.
‘If I don’t do the routines I feel, ridiculously, like it might have an effect on results. But sometimes I do miss the dog walk for some reason.’
Lampard’s predecessor in the Chelsea manager’s job, Maurizio Sarri, is another who spoke about superstitions when here, including not wanting to walk on the pitch or having his haircut depending on results. Lampard says this type of behaviour was prevalent in the Chelsea dressing room when he was a player.
‘I don’t mind structure and I like walking the dog,’ he adds. ‘If it was something that was painful I would probably try to get rid of the routine but it fits nicely as I like going to the gym, I like walking the dog, I like eating pasta as a pre-match meal, so I stick with certain things.
‘I did it as a player and it was very common place in our dressing room. Players used to do it a lot. John [Terry] was very structured in his build up. We are all different and I don’t completely rely on it. I joke a little bit about it but it shows how much you want to do well and win, whether it has an effect or not. If that is in your mind set that is not the worst thing, albeit it might become annoying sometimes to stick to it.’
If the form that has won Lampard the Premier League’s Manager of the Month continues, he will certainly have no reason to change.