Frank Lampard’s place in the Chelsea pantheon is already assured thanks to his incredible playing career but although all the trophy success he enjoyed was under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, he does not expect to be judged differently as the head coach just because of that long-standing relationship and the one he has with the board.
Lampard is approaching the midway point of his second season in charge of the Blues and having achieved a top-four finish last season, he is well aware that genuine achievement is needed this season as well, although he emphasises there are bound to be ups and downs along on the way.
‘When the owner came to Chelsea all those years ago it made my career,’ emphasises Lampard.
‘Maybe I would have gone on to elsewhere and it might have happened in my own personal career, but fortunately I was at a club that had an owner that brought [players] in and changed the face of it, and changed my life. I understand that but I don’t think that should give me any head start.
‘The rest of the detail is how I work with the players. I can’t jump out of that and dictate what anyone else thinks about it. It is beyond me. I am here to try to coach the club and do as well as I can.
‘All I want to concentrate on is the job in hand. I can’t control some things and I certainly don’t want to rely on anything that has happened in the past here.’
Lampard says one of his most important roles at the moment is to be the person who remains positive. After plenty of praise from many directions during Chelsea’s long unbeaten run, the views have becoming negative in the past month and he must counter that within.
‘Things I can’t control outside of that would be a waste of time for me,’ he adds.
‘I have felt huge support from this club, coming back here to manage them and the way it has worked in the period I have been back. In my time here as a player I felt huge support for 13 years and in the end I left the club because they wanted to move on to other things. I understand what football is, I understand the demands and expectations, so I don’t think I have earned the right for anything that takes me out of that equation.
‘All I can do is be honest about how I see it. I can understand there is work to be done here.’