Frank Lampard explains why his former team-mate Branislav Ivanovic has had such a long and successful career, and talks of Tammy Abraham’s positive energy…
Chelsea supporters and Frank Lampard alike could experience the unusual phenomenon of seeing Branislav Ivanovic in opposition colours today, but what a joy it is to see a Blues legend back in the Premier League. It is only a shame there will not be a packed away end to serenade the Serbian in song.
Ivanovic is 36 now, and after joining West Brom from Zenit St Petersburg could come up against our own 36-year-old defender, Thiago Silva, at the Hawthorns today.
‘The longevity of both those players is testament to their professionalism,’ said Lampard.
‘I have seen that in the short term I’ve worked with Thiago, and I know that even better with Branna from our long time together at Chelsea.
‘He’s had an incredible career. A determined, talented, give-it-everything kind of defender and person that I am extremely close to. I’m delighted he’s got an opportunity to have another go at the Premier League. It was a pleasure to play with him and I’m looking forward to seeing him. I love him!’
Some 14 years Ivanovic’s junior and hoping to embark on a brilliant Blues career of his own, Tammy Abraham started his first game of the season in midweek and shone. It was music to Lampard’s ears, and bodes well for the busy months ahead according to the boss, who is pleased with the litany of attacking options at his disposal.
‘Tammy’s reaction the other night and the way he played was exactly what I want from Tammy and what we saw last year,’ explained Lampard.
‘He showed all his qualities in terms of holding the ball up, being able to run behind, and bringing a real positive energy to the team.
‘It was great to see Tammy in that sort of form. Tammy needs to recognise he’s such a positive player and person when he’s in that kind of form.
‘With Oli [Giroud], and I keep talking about squad members, when he’s not playing I keep hearing him behind me on the bench shouting for Tammy, encouraging, backing his team-mate, and those things are huge.’