Speaking on the day that he was finally announced as the new Head Coach of Chelsea, Frank Lampard spoke of his emotions of returning to Stamford Bridge and his hopes of what the Chelsea fans can expect from him.
Here are a few selected quotes from Lampard’s first official interview…
On being called ‘Chelsea Head Coach’ –
“It sounds good. Surreal to a degree because obviously knowing my playing career here, I don’t even think I need to state how much it meant to me, to play thirteen years at this place [Chelsea]. Home for a long time, in a great era where I was fortunate enough to been involved with success at the club.
Those were all of my playing memories and this is a new chapter and I’m really looking forward to it. Everyone knows how I feel about the club and my absolute desire is to be here and work hard. I think I did get the most out of myself as a player on the pitch and that’s my intention to do that as a manager.”
On being his own version as a manager and no one else –
“I want to work and be close to my players – I still feel young. I still feel like a player in a way so I know what they want and what they need. I always appreciated managers that gave me that… that had a relationship on the level of the pitch, made you feel good, tried to get best out of you, drove you in training every day, supported you as a player. But also I like to set standards. I want the team to work hard and make sure that the training translates to the pitch – and that’s my job, and that’s what I want to show here.
If I can see a team that works hard, that has high energy, that really has passion, and of course the talent that I know is in this squad already, then I’ll be very happy. What I don’t want to be is a clone of any one manager. It’s forced if you do that. I’ll try to take onboard all the information, good or bad or whatever, from throughout my career and be myself.”
On how he’ll handle the youth and deal with the Academy –
“Experience is great – you can’t talk it down. It’s great to have players that have been there, that have great character, a real desire and passion for the club, and they also have a responsibility to help the younger players. The team has a really nice balance of the experienced and of the younger players [and] I want to work with those [younger] players [too]. I want to ‘dangle the carrot’. Can you work hard? Can you compete? Can you get in the team?
“The relationship between the first-team and the academy is important. I will work hard to make sure the communication is there, day in and day out. I’m lucky because that staff I will have will help me with that but I will always have my eye on the academy. It’s important. I was once that young player a very long time ago, and the one thing you want is the feeling that you can get to the first-team, that has to be there for you. That has to come from the top, so I have to show that. If these young players keep performing and they deserve it on merit, then they’ll be coming in to train with us. There’s a lot of hard work to do. I don’t want to make it sound easy. It will be tough, but we can try to help them.”
On dealing with the massive expectations at Chelsea from the get-go –
“Expectations at Chelsea will always remain [and] I like that. I enjoyed that as a player, the pressure of expectations. The standards have to keep rising, year after year. And that’s not just on the pitch, that also involves everybody around the place and I’ll try to push that. When you are in charge, you have to push it. People go off you and your standard. And if I can show that and what I want and get that message across clearly, then hopefully we’ll do well.”
On establishing the new long-term plan at Chelsea alongside a former teammate, a close friend and the newly appointed ‘Technical & Performance Advisor’ in Petr Čech –
“I’m delighted to have Petr here. It’s fantastic for the club. He’s a very smart man. It was very obvious in my playing days in the dressing room that he had the intelligence, the language, the desire to learn from people around him, to speak to people, and to bring people together. He’ll want to take the club forward in the right way. And because of our relationship, I hope we can work very well together. We’ve had conversations already. We have many ideas how we can keep the club moving forward.”
Welcome home Frank. Good luck to you this season.