It is still only Frank Lampard’s first season as a football manager, but the Chelsea legend has already achieved some fantastic results, including a place in Monday’s Championship Promotion Playoff Final, the Richest Game in Football, after mounting an epic comeback against Leeds United in the semifinals.
Lampard’s success — was there ever any doubt he’d be excellent at whatever he’s put his mind to? — has not gone unnoticed, definitely not by the rumor mill, linking him with a potential Chelsea vacancy for most of the season. It’s an easy link to make, certainly, though it’s not completely without merit. We’ve certainly all assumed that if Lampard does go into management, he’d eventually get the chance to manage the Blues as well. Given the nature of the job, that opportunity could come along sooner rather than later, and with Maurizio Sarri’s future far from assured, it just might.
But like he has all season, Lampard is ignoring the ‘obvious link’, just as he should be.
“I’ve said it a few months ago, and I find it quite difficult because they have a game coming up. More importantly for me, we have a game before that. They also have a manager in [Maurizio] Sarri who is trying to get them to win that [Europa League] final.”
“It’s been a bit of an obvious link all season. We’ve had a good year and I get linked because of my 13 years with the club. I understand the link but in terms of how I’m seeing it, I don’t want to think or talk about it. I want to talk about Monday, I want to talk about the team and get this over the line.”
The importance of Monday’s match for all involved cannot be understated. That it will feature Lampard (and loanees Mount and Tomori) on one side and Aston Villa assistant John Terry (and loanee Tammy Abraham) on the other, only adds to the occasion. It could be a career-defining day for Lampard, not to mention what promotion to the Premier League would mean for the clubs themselves.
“To the Derby fans, my focus all year is how well I can do in this job. This club gave me an opportunity and I want to finish this season as well as I can. That’s why I’m focused on this game. I’m thankful for that opportunity.”
“I’ve got two years left on my contract here and I see no further than Monday. I will sit down with [Derby chairman] Melvyn Morris after the game, which was planned anyway. Monday’s result is going to define how we chat, to see how the club goes forward. It’s as simple as that.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Sky Sports
Good luck to Super Frank and all the former and current Chelsea players involved!
We will meet again, someday soon, undoubtedly.