It took far longer than expected to play them all, but Frank Lampard now has 38 Premier League games as a manager under his belt.
It is a full season with genuine achievement too, as one of the primary targets, a place in next season’s Champions League, has been reached. Although the current season is not over yet and the team genuinely has something to play for, in the wake of the Wolves win there is a moment to quickly reflect on a year managing at Premier League level.‘The year I had at Derby made me learn that this [being a manager] was definitely what I wanted to be,’ says Lampard.‘Before that when I had my year off from football in the media, it didn’t really grab me enough. It was a nice job, I enjoyed it, but I wanted to be back in and when you get the job with Chelsea, the step up in terms of expectation is huge, with the level of player and the demands to win week in week out.
‘That has been tough and in terms of how you always want to improve, I am pretty obsessive on myself in how I want to work. In that sense, I probably learned that I need to get the balance right going forward in terms of being able to switch off a little.‘My desire to be successful is there and is so big that I can’t help wanting us to get better and better. I’ve learned a million things and I am humble enough to know if there are things I can improve I will try to do it because I want to be successful with this club. It has been a tough year but I have enjoyed every bit of it and it feels like we have had a level of achievement getting in the top four. We have one huge game next weekend and all I can think of now is the next thing.’
With a top-four finish and Champions League qualification, the club stands to earn more money than if we were not in that competition next season, and Lampard confirms that does have an impact on his plans.‘With brutal honesty I would say yes. Not to say exactly where that will go because that is not a conversation for now, straightaway off the back of the last game, but the economics of the Champions League are big, we know that.‘There is the prestige, the top players want to play in the Champions League, and the players who are already here and the young players, they want to play in the Champions League, but it is not a question for today.‘Those that are here can improve, we can all improve, myself included, that is what football is all about, but if we are looking to recruit in certain areas then it may help but those are conversations for after Arsenal and after Bayern Munich, let’s see how we go.‘We have had a good year, we want to do better next year, so we will try to better ourselves in any way possible.’
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