Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has admitted to having “many doubts” before taking office at the club where he excelled as a player, but felt he had no alternative but to seize the opportunity.
Lampard was named to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2019 after having spent just one year as manager, in the championship Derby County.
While Lampard came in with much goodwill after having enjoyed a trophy-laden period as a Chelsea player, he admits to being well aware of the huge increase in pressure and expectations, and that fan favor would quickly change if they were not obtained results.
Speaking to The Athletic, Lampard said: “It’s my club and the pull of it was always going to get me, no matter where I had been. He didn’t know when that Chelsea opportunity would arise again, if ever.
“On top of that, the idea of staying in Derby was difficult. It was in a difficult period and I think that has become evident now. So the decision was clear, but I was in doubt, if “doubt” is the right word. Driving Derby I was doing it on a much smaller scale, very tight, with regular expectation levels and some games would go unnoticed if you didn’t get a great result.
“At Chelsea, I knew that all of that would change instantly and I wanted to have a positive impact because I knew that my name and my former player would not last that long. So yeah, I had a lot of doubts. “
Despite those doubts, Lampard has had a successful start to his life as Chelsea manager, returning to the Champions League for the 2020-21 season thanks to a top-four result in the Premier League, and the Blues appear to be ready. to participate in the race for the title. in the current campaign.
The former England midfielder says he’s glad he proved his mettle as a coach rather than relying on his reputation from his playing days, and ultimately doesn’t care if fans are still backing him for his exploits on the field.
He said, “You can’t think of that. It really doesn’t bother me. As a player, I would; I really stuck to being one of the oldest statesmen on the team, one of the best interpreters and I loved that. It was a boost for me, but moving to Manchester City and New York City and then getting out of football for a year and going to the Derby and experiencing the world changed my vision a lot.
“I don’t trust that like I used to when I played for the club. I want to be successful, this is my club and it always will be, even if the fans hit me because I didn’t succeed ”.
Lampard admits he was also nervous before he became the Derby manager, reflecting on what was a crucial first conversation with his new group of players when he took over in 2018.
He said: “The first day I walked into Derby, I was shitting myself. It really was. It came to me so fast. Met Mel Morris, the owner. They offered me the job, which was a huge leap for him and a huge leap for me.
“He had played against a lot of the players. I played some of them for my country. It’s how you pack that first meeting, that first training session, of what you want to be. It is so important. I had all those worries.
“What I was determined to do was listen and learn from everyone. I watch the game of the day. There will be times when something is said that I don’t like and it helps you. Maybe they have dismissed us because we can’t defend set pieces, so the next day I go to work and say quietly, ‘I want to take a look at set pieces one more time!’
“I like listening to other managers, podcasts from other coaches. If I can get a little out of that, I will. You have to be yourself, but you can still absorb all those things. “