Over the years, whenever the prospect of someone like Gianfranco Zola becoming Chelsea manager would get raised, many of us would vehemently oppose it — not because of Zola’s perceived managerial skills or lack thereof, but simply because we would not want to ever see him sacked.
Because make no mistake, we’d sack our own legends, probably without much hesitation or trepidation. Just as Roberto Di Matteo.
And yet, here we are with Frank Lampard in charge, one of the biggest legends ever at Stamford Bridge. And that’s pretty great, and we love it almost unreservedly, but one day we will have to face the cold harsh reality of Lampard leaving and perhaps through the Moon Door of Abramovich’s office. Probably.
Lampard himself knows this risk, accepts it, and obviously wants to avoid it.
“I can be really open that it helped me get the job — playing 13 years at the club helped me get the job. [But] I had to put my ego at the door a bit and say that I might ruin what I achieved in 13 years to a degree — because if it doesn’t go well, I will be judged harshly and quickly.
“I am so driven personally that my biggest fear is myself. If I try to pull the wool over your eyes as Chelsea manager, it’s not going to work.”
Appointing Lampard after just one year of managerial experience was certainly a bold move by Chelsea. Fortunately, the first season went well enough, even as SuperFrank continues to learn on the job.
“The life of a player is a bubble of selfishness to a degree. The facts and reality is I realise now it’s much harder than playing in terms of it being consuming. The life of a manager is 25 people in the squad, staff in the building, problems with different departments. It’s so far removed from football.
“When you work for your coaching badges, you have to put time in. Then when you start doing it, you have to practise, you have to fail, get better, fail and have relationships with people you never had as a player.
“Players can easily sit there and say they want to be a manager, then they start the road and say: ‘Actually, I want to be a pundit.’ I respect it because being a pundit is tough as well but in terms of management I wanted to test the water. A manager gets 50 problems a day. It’s much more consuming but I love it and couldn’t live without it.”
-Frank Lampard; source: BBC
Obviously, Lampard is nowhere close to getting the sack anytime soon, but with expectations raised for this second season, it’s indeed time to sink or swim. International distractions are over, the task at hand is clear. One game at a time.
“...if I’ve done the best as I can, I will be pretty happy. I’ll be disappointed and look back at the million things I could have done better, but as it stands now, what’s in front of me, I’m thinking about our next game.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Evening Standard