It had been a unique season for Chelsea even before the global events of 2020 hit, but we may yet end it in a very familiar fashion, by winning a trophy. It would be the 17th major trophy of the Roman Abramovich era, now in its 17th year.
While not everything that’s happened in the past 12 months has been good or great, one quite noteworthy aspect of the 2019-20 season is just how drama-free it’s been. No, not on the pitch, and no, not in the transfer market. But in terms of the usual backroom drama between the football and the executive sides of the operation, that’s been practically non-existent.
A few stories in January aside, when Chelsea failed to secure any first-team signings despite the lifting of the transfer ban, the relationship between head coach and “The Board” has been, for all intents and purposes, flawless.
Maybe we just finally learned how to keep things out of prying ears. Or maybe, for the first time in what seems like a really long time, if not ever in modern times, we might actually have true synergy between the track suits and the tailored suits.
As Lampard explains it, that is in great part down to technical
director advisor Petr Čech, whose actual position is still a bit of a mystery but does at least involve the function of a communications facilitator. Michael Emenalo used to fill that role for many years, most notably with Antonio Conte, and it sounds like Lampard is enjoying the benefits of that sort of great personal (and professional!) relationship as well.
“I have a very close relationship with Marina and with Petr. That relationship has been really good and it’s been a real strength. It feels like a real strength in the camp that I can speak to Petr regularly. I can speak with Marina and work in a joined-up way in taking the club forward.”
“Relationships with people upstairs, they are different so I have to say I am very happy to have Petr here because I know him so well, because we get on well, because I trust and value his world and how we speak. There is a real honesty about how we work and how we can speak to each other.”
“Joined-up” is a phrase Lampard had used throughout the season but the good vibes will not last on their own forever. They will need to be backed up by trophies, by winning, by closing the gap and becoming title-challengers once again. Lampard would like nothing more than that of course.
“We work towards the aims that we know and the standards of this club [and] I am obsessed with how I can get this club to where it wants to be.”
“We can’t just claim we’re going to be title contenders, even next year there’s a gap to close before we start having those conversations. Do we want to win titles here every year? Yes, of course, we do.
“The fact that we’re in a cup final means we’re close to maybe doing that this year. I hope that I can bring us forward to a point where expecting titles every year includes expecting Premier League titles. We’re not at that position now and that’s where I want to get to and that is going to be a process.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Goal
Win or lose today, there’s a good feeling that we’re on the right track. If we can continue showing the right amount patience and continue making the sensible decisions on and off the pitch, we just might fulfill this project’s ultimate goals.