Frank Lampard has revealed he didn’t expect to land the Chelsea job so early in his coaching career, but never doubted his own ability.
Lampard learned fast at Derby County, guiding the Rams to the Championship Play-Off Final in his first season as a manager. But that became his only campaign at Pride Park, before taking over at Stamford Bridge.
In a new book on Chelsea published today – ‘The Boss: Chelsea managers from Ted Drake to Frank Lampard’ – the current Chelsea boss notes in the foreword how he balances his management ambitions in the face of outside expectations.
Lampard writes: “It certainly would have surprised me, when I started the Derby job, that I would be sitting here as the Chelsea manager less than two years later. You wouldn’t have dreamed it would come along after my first year at Derby.
“Was it the right decision to take the Chelsea job so early? Well, all the circumstances came together and it was definitely a question posed at the time of my appointment whether it was too early in my development as manager.
“No, I didn’t ask myself whether it was too early. I have the confidence in my own ability that I was capable of taking the job, without doubt. But I understand why it was the first question due to my inexperience.”
Lampard became a Chelsea legend, in career that won him 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.
But he knows that all his personal accolades genuinely count for little as a manager, because he has to achieve a different type of success all over again.
He continued: “I had a wonderful playing career with Chelsea, but that has nothing to do with my new role as manager. This is a completely new challenge. A challenge, of which, I had no fear of taking and continue to have no fear of doing.
“My objective is simple: to be as successful a manager as it is possible to be at Chelsea. I want to be the best manager for Chelsea that I can be.
“If I don’t, then that should not influence what I achieved in 13 years as a player. But my intention is to succeed as a manager at Chelsea the way I succeeded as a player.”
Lampard started his career at West Ham and could barely have imagined that he would ultimately become part of the fabric of Chelsea’s history.
As the club’s record goalscorer, with 211 goals, Lampard is proud to take his place in Stamford Bridge folklore, documented so well and exclusively in Harry Harris’s new book launched today.
He added: “Since 2011, when I arrived at the Bridge from West Ham, I very quickly fell in love with the club and the area.
“So I do already know a fair bit about the club’s history and I am sure this book, that goes through all the managers in detail, will be something that as the current manager, I will find of immense interest.
“Coming from a footballing family I’m aware of the different eras and different managers through Chelsea’s history, going back to some amazing players in the 70s, the Kings Road set.
“Having spent some time in Alan Hudson’s company, it was fascinating to learn even more from him about the flair players, many maverick of nature and it will be interesting to read their relationships with their managers at the time.”
‘The Boss: Chelsea managers from Ted Drake to Frank Lampard’ is out now, written by Harry Harris, with a foreword by Frank Lampard and an introduction by Ivor Baddiel. Published by Empire Publications.