Before Tuesday, Frank Lampard had not been back to Stamford Bridge since he was sacked as Chelsea manager a little over two years ago. On Tuesday, he was sat in the luxury boxes. His seat for his next Chelsea match will be slightly different! (Presumably even for his next Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge, against Brighton in 10 days, though the pace at which we’re hiring new managers these days you never know!)
So, after a whirlwind 24-48 hours, Lampard was announced this morning as our new
Interim Caretaker Manager, and I love that title for him. He’s here to take care of us, to cuddle us in his Big Blue Heart and tell us that everything’s gonna be alright.
And if not, well, he’s still Super Frank, still one of our greatest legends (and for many, the greatest ever), and that won’t ever change.
“It’s a pretty easy decision to make. This is my club [and] I’m delighted to get the opportunity. [...] I played here for 13 years, I coached here, I’ve had a lot of incredible moments and some difficult moments because that’s football. From the moment I joined this club, many years ago, I can’t remember the year almost, [the fans] have been a huge support to me and I’m forever thankful for that.
“If I can be here, if I can help this club and we can come together and we can feel those days at Stamford Bridge and nights at Stamford Bridge and feel an energy in this period of the season — that’s what I’m here to try and do. [...] I’m proud to manage this club, it’s something I don’t need to harp on about too much but I look forward to the opportunity.”
All the harping is fine by me; this may be the high point of the rest of the season after all. Of course, there is a possibility of a much greater high with the Champions League, but that might be an even more unlikely outcome than in 2012. (Chelsea’s Old Guard finished 6th that year; we’re 11th right now!)
Lampard isn’t entertaining any such delusions of grandeur; his focus is on making the biggest impact day-to-day, player-to-player, and making the most of his time here. (While Lampard was not specifically told that there is no way he can have the job beyond this season, that’s not the plan right now.)
“I think the role and the explanation of my role speaks for itself in the period that I’m here for. On that term, I’m not getting anywhere ahead of myself. I want to do the best possible role that I can impact the club in the best way in this period. After that, we’ll see what happens. [...] I’m ready to put my work into this challenge in front of me and take it day by day.
“I’ve got a clear idea of what I want to do in this period but the biggest thing for me is to be able to speak to the players, feel them out on the grass and to try and impact them [and] to try and find the right energy and results to try and move us in a more positive direction. This is Chelsea Football Club we know we don’t want to be in 11th position but the reality is that is where we are.
“There’s been change, there’s been transition, there’s been change in the squad, there’s a lot of talent in the squad and it’s very clear when you look around the Premier League and its history those things take a bit of time. Everyone will try and work in the right direction. Some things have to be understandable but some things you want to get there quickly because you want your work to show. If I can play my part in that then great.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Good to have you back, Frank!
Let’s get to work!