Just a couple months shy of his 38th birthday, Chelsea goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero may be closer in age to the new head coach than his next oldest teammate, but that just means he gets to reflect on the current situation at the club with the helpful weight of his own personal experience, which does actually include a season with Frank Lampard. They played together for a season at Manchester City in 2014-15, and Lampard’s managerial qualities were evident already.
“I played with Frank for a season at Manchester City and even then you could see that he had those leadership skills in his character...
“It’s been superb with Frank so far. The way he spoke to us on the first day was amazing and he’s been great so far. He told us how he wants us to play, his ideas, how he wants us to train and how much work we must put in to be successful. He explained what it means to play for Chelsea and we are all excited to work under him.”
After 18 years as a professional goalkeeper, on both sides of the Atlantic, from the Spanish lower divisions to the top of the English game, it might not be so easy to impress Caballero anymore, but Frank seems to have done so already.
“He played at this club for a long time and won many trophies here, and he wants the same for us as players and for him as the head coach. We have to be ready to work hard, he’s told us that, and that we have a lot of talent in the squad.
“It’s an exciting time to be at the club.”
Now in his third season at Chelsea, Caballero is working with a third different manager, though most of his day-to-day training is with the goalkeeper coach instead, who’s a much more familiar face. Henrique Hilário has been the assistant goalkeeper coach since 2014, and now takes over as the main man. (This now Hilário’s 13th year at Stamford Bridge altogether!)
“It’s been great working alongside Hilário and we’ve been training really hard. We have three goalkeepers here, myself, Kepa and Jamie [Cumming] and we work on specific-goalkeeper drills, while the rest of the players work with the other coaches. We have a good bond and we are all enjoying the sessions so far. It is a lot of hard work with double sessions every day, but very enjoyable and spirits are high.”
-Willy Caballero; source: Chelsea FC
Hopefully spirits shall remain just as high throughout the season.