Frank Lampard on his faith in the process and why Madueke form is sign of progress
Frank Lampard discusses how the quantity of skill and promise in the Chelsea squad, as well as what he has observed behind the scenes since his return to Stamford Bridge, makes him confident that the club will be just as successful in the future as it was during his playing career.
Frank Lampard’s return to Chelsea as caretaker manager for the duration of the 2022/23 season hasn’t been easy, but the Blues star picked up the first win of his second tenure in charge when we won 3-1 away at Bournemouth last week.
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He has four games left in the current season and his term to add to those three points, beginning today at home against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.
However, speaking ahead of that game, he was keen to point out that in the Blues’ current situation, amid widespread change on and off the pitch at the start of a new era, with Champions League qualification now out of reach, some things that go unnoticed outside the club are arguably more important than points at this time.
‘The more you do this work, the more you realize the good and the terrible, the things you can and cannot control,’ he remarked. ‘Sometimes you do not influence the outcome. Sometimes you’re happy working on things that people don’t notice, like minor positive things behind the scenes, working directly with players, and seeing things develop behind the scenes.’I’ve been impressed with the club’s intention and where it wants to go – and I believe it will – and I believe we need to work hard with the group going forward, with the squad and the players and the talent that we have, because the talent in this league has to be converted into the end product. Those steps are already in motion, and while they may not always be evident right now, they are unquestionably a process.’
When asked to give an example of a development that gives him hope for Chelsea’s future, he said Lampard praised January addition Noni Madueke, who scored his first goal for the club against Arsenal before producing his best performance for the Blues so far in last week’s win over Bournemouth.
‘There’s talent in the building,’ Frank noted. ‘I think Noni is an excellent example of someone who was a definite talent in the first week of training, but I wanted to see a little more.’I had that chat with him, and he showed me more, and he’s come into games and shown me his personality as much as his talent, to come in, take the ball, and show glimpses of his talent in a tough moment.
‘It won’t stop with him, but those types of players need consistency around them to further their own game, which they haven’t had this season. So that’s something I’ve observed, and I’m sure others have as well this season.’
Above all, Lampard’s knowledge and experience of the club put our future success beyond doubt, as he passionately explained why he sees similarities between the current Chelsea and the one he first joined as a player back in 2001, before winning the lot at Stamford Bridge.
‘In my own life, I signed for Chelsea when we were a top-six or top-eight team, and little did I realize that when I left 15 years later, I came out with medals and trophies all over the place because of how the club progressed.’I’m not just patting myself on the back; I was part of a massive process that saw this club become the most successful club in the modern era of the Premier League at the time.
‘So there are a lot of amazing things about this club, and the adage “form is temporary, class is permanent” holds in sport, and when you see a team the scale of Chelsea, and I see fantastic ambitions to lead the club forward.
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‘A lot of large clubs go through this process in some manner, shape, or form, and the more successful you’ve been, the more attention you receive as you move into that time. So the club simply needs to take each step forward as it goes, but it’s a fantastic club. Whatever happens in the next month, six months, two years, or three years, this is a massive football club. This is always going to be a successful football club, and I can’t say enough good things about it. I’d say that because of my connection to the club, but I truly believe it.’
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