As well as looking towards the weeks and the matches remaining in the 2022/23 season, Frank Lampard has allowed himself a moment to glance back on the time he was first at the helm of the Chelsea team, and he has compared himself now with how he was back then.
It was in the summer of 2019 that the Chelsea legend returned to Stamford Bridge in the head coach’s role, a position he held until early 2021. Now, just over two years later, and having been manager at another Premier League side since, Lampard gives this verdict on his progression.
‘I’ve definitely changed and I took some things I changed onto Everton,’ he says.
‘You evolve, that is probably a better word. I’ve always been very open to listening, to looking, to learning and reflecting, and I’m certainly not a person who sits there and says I have all the answers. That’s probably when you level out as a coach or maybe in life.
‘There are things I look back on and things I feel like I’ve maybe improved, and there’ll always be things that you want to get better at.
‘The results will always be in how I perform here and how I can affect the players now. I think I’ve improved.’
The 44-year-old recalls a time when someone, whom he describes as ‘a great manager who is not with us anymore’ visited when Lampard was previously head coach and spoke about his own career.
‘He said that there were things that he did towards the end of his career and when he reflected, he was actually a better coach in that way when he was in his first year of managing’ Lampard recalls.
‘I really understood what he meant there. Some things in your early years of managing, when you have a freshness and naivety, you look back on it and say that was really good. The game can change a little bit but you want to stick to those basics and you learn.’
Moving back to the present day, our new caretaker manager reveals his early thoughts on the current Chelsea hierarchy.
‘From my conversations that I’ve had with the club now and the people that are decision-makers and running the club, they’ve all been really positive.
‘They’ve been very interesting for me. I’m very experienced now in terms of working in different clubs and in terms of my playing career as well, at Chelsea for a long period then Manchester City for a year, then New York City. I’ve managed at Derby, I’ve managed at Chelsea, I’ve managed at Everton, so you get an understanding of what you feel is a club that really has a vision and wants to move forward.
‘It’s about good people working in the right direction and collaborating and talking and trying to find the right way. And that’s the sense that I’ve had in coming here.
‘Now of course we’re in a position where it’s part of the process, and that’s fine. I’m ready to play my part in that process and I’ll be very honest and open with everybody and how I see it.
‘I know the club and I think that’s a positive for me in terms of coming into this role now. So we’ll see.’