Frank Lampard’s three-year project made it only about halfway before the hammer came down from upon high and put a stop to all the sentimentality. Snap back to reality.
But Lampard has certainly left his mark in the 18 months he held the managerial reins, and not just by brining back some much needed good vibes.
He and assistant Jody Morris engineered a massive paradigm shift in tearing down the proverbial barriers between the youth team and the first-team and opening a pathway for the best kids to actually make the jump to the seniors (by way of loans or not). Lampard set a modern club record by giving no fewer than eight Academy youth their debuts and making household names out of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, and Billy Gilmour. Their involvement in the first-team should continue, regardless of who the next man in charge may be — and hopefully the next generation of Academy stars will get their chances as well.
Unsurprisingly, it were the Cobham Kids who were among the first to send their best to the departing head coach, but they were not the only ones, with newcomers or veterans like Thiago Silva and César Azpilicueta also joining in, most of them thanking the Chelsea legend for imparting some of his invaluable knowledge and experiences and for having faith in them.
One thing is clear, Lampard was well respected by (the majority of) the dressing room. Sure, those who didn’t play probably weren’t as enthused, but the factors that led to his sacking didn’t depend on just one player or even a group of players. Let us remember the good times, and look forward to better times ahead.
(Do try to resist the urge to keep score with these things. Not all players live on their phones or care about social media.)
Puts it succinctly and perfectly: “A role model, a mentor and a great manager.”
Like many, Reece idolized Lampard growing up. And that doesn’t change.
Hopefully Billy G continues his meteoric rise and the next manager trusts him as much as Lampard did.
Captain in Lampard’s last game. It doesn’t get much more symbolic than that. (Mount also thanks Morris specifically, which was great to see!)
By all accounts, we have Lampard to thank first and foremost for having Chilwell at the club.
Pulisic’s journey under Lampard didn’t sit well with all observers, but he’s thanked Lampard for his trust just the same.
Teammates once. Legends forever.
And speaking of legends. Silva is a huge presence on social media, and knows a thing or two about respect.
Mendy’s story is wonderful, and his goalkeeping is almost as good, too.
Of course a social media round-up features Michy, even if he only featured for about six months under Lampard.
We’ll update this post if any more players post farewells on social media in the coming days.
Until then, here’s John Terry with the ultimate truth. Legends Forever, indeed.