This month’s issue of Chelsea magazine features an exclusive interview with Frank Lampard, who talks us through every step of his managerial career to date, and there’s also an in-depth tribute to the late, great Peter Bonetti.
Less than two years have passed since our all-time leading scorer embarked on the second chapter of his footballing journey, as he took the reins at Derby County.
There had barely been pause for thought, as he led the Rams to the final of the Championship play-offs before taking the reins at Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2019/20 campaign – but during the Covid-19 enforced lockdown, he’s had a chance to reflect on what has been a quite astonishing period in his career.
In perhaps the most in-depth interview he has given since being named Blues boss, Lampard tackles a range of subjects related to his managerial career, going back to when the seeds were first planted in his mind right up to the current day and the lessons he’s learned during lockdown.
‘I wouldn’t say players spoke about it much,’ he tells Chelsea, going back in time to when he was a young footballer. ‘I think players tend to be very much in the moment and I probably was like that to a degree as well.
‘I wouldn’t have sat there and spoken too much with other players about it, and some of my former team-mates who have gone into management have surprised me. I’ve read that some others are surprised I’ve done it, because of how I was as a player.
‘I wasn’t always hugely vocal in the dressing room as vice-captain, I wasn’t expected to be, because of the attributes John [Terry] had and the slightly different ones I had.’
Lampard also explained how he uses his experiences as a member of a highly competitive squad at Chelsea to help him with the man-management side of the job, especially when it comes to making the difficult decisions about who to leave out of his team each week.
‘I know that a manager is going to upset 10-15 of his players every week and make decisions that people are going to be unhappy about and scrutinise,’ he said.
‘I think you just have to accept that as part of it, and I try not to make that the focal point. I try to see the bigger picture and think, if I can be honest and up front with the players – which is not always easy – then the players will respect you in the end, even if they are upset when they’re walking down that corridor.
‘That’s how I felt as a player and I certainly respected the managers who were up front with me, even if they were giving me bad news sometimes.’
Read the full interview to find out what else Lampard had to say in the rest of this fascinating Q&A, which runs across 11 pages.
‘One of the greatest’
From one Chelsea legend to another, our second in-depth feature this month focuses on Peter Bonetti. With his distinctive green shirt and gloves, the Cat was a hero to scores of Blues fans, one of the iconic figures of our beloved Kings of the King's Road era.
His brilliance between the sticks was matched only by longevity, with a remarkable 729 appearances for the club and 208 clean sheets. After he sadly passed away over the Easter weekend, we celebrate the life of a true Chelsea legend with a detailed look back at his incredible career, including quotes from previous interviews Bonetti did with the magazine over the years.
Of course, before he became a manager, Super Frank was one of our greatest-ever players – and one of the biggest nights of his career is chronicled in the latest part of our Champions League Classics series.
In the spring of 2008, following the sudden passing of his mother, our No8 produced an iconic moment with a nerve-shredding penalty, followed by an outpouring of emotion, which helped us end Liverpool’s Champions League hoodoo over us and secured us a place in the final of the competition for the first time.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Chelsea’s first-ever FA Youth Cup triumph. A team featuring numerous Blues legends – including Bonetti and our former all-time leading scorer, Bobby Tambling – went all the way in the pinnacle of youth football in this country. We take you through that memorable campaign, featuring stories told by many of those who featured along the way.
Ji’s the one
When Chelsea Women signed Ji So-Yun in 2014, the South Korean was one of the brightest young talents in the game and the Blues had just finished second from bottom in the Women’s Super League. How did the club manage to pull off one of the best signings in our history?
Manager Emma Hayes talks us through it every step of the way, taking in stops at major tournaments, dingy Japanese karaoke bars and ending with Ji clutching a Chelsea shirt with the No10 on the back.
You know a magazine is packed full of quality features when an interview with Gus Poyet only gets a cursory mention at the end! On the 20th anniversary of our FA Cup final win over Aston Villa in the last final played at the old Wembley Stadium, we caught up with the man known to his team-mates as the Radio for a lengthy chat about his four years in blue.
We also look back at the career of another of our 2000 FA Cup winners, Gianfranco Zola.
The June issue of Chelsea magazine is available to buy for £3.95 from selected supermarkets and newsagents.