Following on from yesterday when Frank Lampard expressed regret about language he used in a touchline incident at Anfield midweek, but not the passion he felt in standing up for his team over what he considered a wrong refereeing decision, the Chelsea boss has been asked further about that moment, and what he considers to be the code of conduct between the benches at top-level matches.
Lampard has also been asked whether a degree of arrogance is necessary for success and when does that cross the line, but firstly on the unwritten code, he had this to say:
‘When you speak between managers, and we can hear it much more clearly now obviously without a crowd, lots of managers will call for decisions be it right or wrong, and then you speak with each other. But when people who are on the bench jump up and want to speak across to myself and then smirk and smile and continue to do so for quite a while, then I think that is past the code.
‘I haven’t contacted Liverpool and I shook Jurgen Klopp’s hand at the end and again said well done,’ he confirmed, ‘and I would have easily sat and had a beer with him and congratulated him on what an incredible job he has done.
‘I know how hard it is to win the Premier League, and I know the work that goes in to it and he has been there four or five years and the journey and the work has been incredible. He deserves everything and it is nothing to do with what happened.
‘What happened on the line can happen a fair bit and with cameras and microphones it was in full view, and as I have said before I regret the language that I used but I could not help the passion I felt, it wasn’t a foul as I saw it.
‘I shouldn’t be swearing but I had an issue with some of the people on the staff and I felt it was against the code of how it works on the bench.
‘It is work in a pressure cooker and I like to think I remain calm a lot of the time but I will defend things that I think are right for Chelsea on the pitch. We had a lot on that game to try to get a point to secure top four and Liverpool didn’t have anything, so maybe I was more intent to try to drive us to get a point which at one point we nearly did.’
Lampard reckons if you look, all Premier League managers who have been working at that high-pressure level for a while will have been involved in comparable incidents at some point.
‘I do have an edge,’ he admits. ‘I would not be able to play for Chelsea for so long and at team that was fighting to be Premier League winners or Champions League winners pretty much every year I was here, and I have seen people around me who have an edge.
‘I can’t stand there and demand an edge from my players after Sheffield United and not have that in myself to try to drive the club forwards. It is not the right way to do it with the language I used. It can happen in the game, I have huge respect for Jurgen Klopp, I shook his hand at the end, it is nothing to do with what Liverpool Football Club have done. I applaud them to the highest degree no matter what the result would have been the other day. It was just an in-game moment for me.
‘I think arrogance is a very important quality in terms of how you attack a football match as a player, how you tackle a football match as a manager,’ he added, ‘because you will be full of expectation around you, with criticism of anything you do that might be seen as being wrong and not quite right. If you don’t have a level of arrogance and belief in what you do then you can be affected negatively to the point where you might not be able to do the job as well.
‘Also, when you talk about arrogance there is respect. What my feeling was is the bench at Liverpool, one person in particular, was absolutely crossing that line. And that became arrogant to me.’