Wednesday, May 5, 2021

I want to be at Chelsea for as long as possible – Lampard not contemplating England yet

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Dec 2020


Frank Lampard has his sights set on remaining Chelsea boss for “as long as possible” but he acknowledges the decision will be taken out of his hands if results suffer.

Lampard was appointed manager of the club he made 648 appearances for between 2001 and 2014 ahead of the 2019-20 campaign after only one year of management with Derby County in the Championship. 

He steered the Blues to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and led them to the FA Cup final, where they lost to Arsenal. 

They have been quick out of the blocks this season and sit third in the Premier League having lost just one of their opening 10 games and qualified from their Champions League group with two games to spare.

However, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not known for his patience with managers, Lampard becoming the club’s 15th permanent or interim appointment since the Russian bought the club in 2003.

Lampard is only too aware that he is never more than a few bad results away from his position coming under threat, but he hopes to be given the chance to build something of substance at Stamford Bridge.

“I’ve got 18 months left [on his contract] and I feel, and I felt it when I came to the club, that there were lots of circumstances at the beginning that were going to make last year transitional, maybe slightly difficult,” he told a media conference ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Leeds United on Saturday. 

“I thought it was a success. Now I feel like I’d love to be part of the long-term plan here.

“The signings we made in the summer, other than perhaps Thiago [Silva], were signings for now and the future; players who are going to progress and going to mature.

“Of course, I’d love to be part of that and, of course, that’s the club’s and the owner’s decision first and foremost.

“I’m a lucky man to be managing the club I love, and it’s my life. So, of course, I want to make a success of it and be here as long as I can.

“I would like to do this job as long as possible but I’m also very aware that it is results based.

“At the minute I think we’re working towards something and people are getting very excited and mentioning us being in the title race this year.

“I always saw it as a longer plan than that. It might take until next year for us to really challenge because of the signings and because of the bedding-in process.

“What we’re doing at the moment is getting people excited, but I know we need to be consistent over the course of the season.”

Lampard’s former Chelsea team-mate Branislav Ivanovic, who now plays for West Brom, has tipped the 42-year-old to take over as England manager one day. 

While Lampard admits he would be tempted by the prestigious role later in his career, his focus remains solely on Chelsea for the time being. 

“I appreciate Branislav’s words,” he added. “He’s a good friend and I appreciate the positive wording. 

“It’s certainly not anything that is on my short-term radar. I’m very patriotic, I loved playing for my country, but at the moment my focus is on doing the best thing here.

“I appreciate it and if there was ever an opportunity later on down the line, it’s certainly something I would look at, but you should never get too far down the line in this job.”


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