‘I am willing to risk it’ – Lampard unconcerned with endangering his legacy at Chelsea

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The Blues legend hasn’t spoken to the owner as he bids to emulate the greatness he achieved as a player at Stamford Bridge
Frank Lampard says he is unconcerned with any risks to his legacy as he takes on the role of Chelsea manager after a playing career that saw him cement his status as a Blues legend.

Fellow legendary figure Petr Cech is already back at the club as a Technical and Performance Advisor, while Joe Cole is working in coaching at the academy level. Claude Makelele and Didier Drogba could be soon coming back alongside the others as Jody Morris comes in as Lampard’s assistant.

The 41-year-old coach admits he is risking his legacy by coming in at Stamford Bridge, a club who are known for their hiring and firing managers quickly, but he says that he is ambitious to win silverware as a manager.

“Maybe it is a risk. I am quite bold. You have to be in football because the minute I stepped into management, what did I want to do? This is no disrespect to Derby, a fantastic club for me, I was ambitious as a player, I wanted to manage at the top,” he said.

“The opportunity to come here, having had my link here, this is an obvious club I would love to manage, simply that. The minute I started management, the minute I realised this could be the case, if I am fortunate and do okay, I get the job at Chelsea and I risk it.

“I am willing to risk. I have belief in myself. I’d like to think my playing career is there, it is what it was and I will try to be the best manager I can. I understand the risk but I would rather look at the upside and can I go and do something similar to my playing career, but can I come away with success from my playing career?

“It is an easy thing to point to because the fact that I have come back, and others have come back but people have to be good enough and have the right attitude to come in and want to do it, not because you’ve played for the club. That is what the club will search for, not if your name is attached to the club.”

Lampard has revealed he is yet to speak to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as he is unveiled as the club’s latest manager, but he knows his ultimate boss well and looks forward to talks during pre-season.

The pair had great success together in Lampard’s playing days where he won 13 major honours over 11 years at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues were revolutionised by investment from their Russian billionaire.

Abramovich has since taken a bit of a backstep from the operations at Chelsea and is rumoured to be selling the club, but his opinion on Lampard is the decisive factor in his appointment at the club, despite just a year in football management with Championship side Derby County.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia runs the west London club on a day-to-day basis and had talks with Lampard on Wednesday ahead of his unveiling on Thursday. Lampard revealed that he has yet, but he knows that he will not get special treatment from the oligarch, even despite his legendary status as a player.

“I haven’t spoken to him at the minute,” Lampard said. “I have spoken a lot to Marina, we have talked in detail and in-depth because it is about how I want to work with the club and how they want me to work with them.

“I will be speaking with the owner in pre-season, I know he is a busy man and I know he is a very private man and I respect that completely, so it won’t be one where I come out saying what has been said.

“I do think one of the benefits of me being here is that I don’t need huge amounts of conversation; the conversations I had with Marina was exactly as I expected. We want to be competitive, yes, we want to bring young players through, but that is something I should look to do anyway it isn’t a major part of the conversation and we want to win.

“Nobody can win the league year in, year out and have complete success but for me, that hasn’t changed so when I do speak to the owner, I expect him to demand the same things I demand of myself and the team.

“I don’t know [if this club is impatient with managers]. The reality is that the owner has won 16 trophies in 16 years, a huge success, he runs it as his own desire, and his desire has always been for the best of the club.

“He has chosen me hopefully on that premise. I don’t know whether it will change. I do think it is a reality of football. When I went into Derby everyone told me it was six managers in three years or whatever so you understand the pressures.

“My role now is to put that to the side. I wouldn’t want to walk around every day, thinking at whatever’s on the negative side.”

Lampard is one of several legends coming back to the club this summer as Abramovich reshuffles operations behind the scenes during FIFA’s imposed two-window transfer ban.

Some of the Blues players will meet Lampard tomorrow before they jet off to Dublin for their first two pre-season matches which take place next week.

As with any new manager, Lampard will implement his own brand of football at Stamford Bridge. He gave a flavour of what he will expect from his players next season.

“It will be easy to ask about my era, how did it use to be, do you want to set the same standards? Maybe I am at fault for mentioning the Drogba’s and so on. What you won’t hear me saying through the year is that in my era we used to do this and we used to do that,” he said.

“I don’t want to be going back in time to what we did before, or this is how Chelsea should be, for me the football world is moving on really quickly and I want to be open-minded, I want to be moving with it, doing the things I want to do.

“Yes, there is a basic standard that we had as a squad from when I was here, but I will not be standing there after every game comparing, I think we need to be moving forward. I think Chelsea has huge standards and ethics that I expect.

“And I will be trying to put that into the players and that is what I will expect. But the players have to own that. I will just try and set the tone for that. The players are the ones who will have to go out there and compete against a lot of fantastic teams out there.

“I want to be close to the players, someone who is close to them, I want to drive them on the training ground but I want to feel like they can talk to me, like to work hard, be constantly with them. Put time into that. I don’t want to feel like I might have missed a trick, I want to take the club as far forward as I can.”

Kofi Atinka

Kofi Atinka