Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reckons being English means he is treated more harshly than ‘trendy’ foreign coaches.
Lampard is currently in his second season in charge of the west London outfit and last week became just the second English manager to manage in two Champions League campaigns, with only former Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson having previously achieved the feat.
Chelsea return to Champions League action this evening when they travel to face Krasnodar in Russia, seeking a first victory in this season’s competition after a goalless draw with Sevilla last time out.
Lampard admits he was ‘surprised’ to discover he was just the second English manager to coach in multiple Champions League campaigns, and suggested homegrown managers can match their foreign counterparts and should be more highly regarded within the English game.
“I don’t feel a responsibility of the English managers’ union or whatever you want to call it,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference. “But I was surprised by the stat when I was told it last week – the great Bobby Robson to be the only Englishman who’s done it.
“I used to hear towards the end of my career about English managers who get jobs in the Premier League and there’s a merry-go-round and all this sort of thing.
“But I actually think it’s slightly different. I think we’re sometimes seeing English managers showing their qualities in the game, throughout the Premier League, throughout the Championship, throughout the leagues, and hopefully there are more opportunities for them. With the brilliant invasion of great quality coaches and players into the Premier League, sometimes I think our eyes go to that and it becomes very new and trendy.
“And rightly so with managers that achieve so much. But also sometimes I think we have managers at home who can do the jobs as well. I’m not thinking of myself being anywhere near the standard bearer for it because there are great managers and young coaches out there. All I try to do is the job as well as I can.”
Lampard was also asked whether English managers are viewed differently to those from abroad and admitted he feels he is judged more harshly than his foreign counterparts.
“I think possibly, yes,” he said.
“When I got this job I think a lot of people were questioning me. A lot of people told me: ‘Are you sure you want to take it?’ Sometimes people can be very quick to form opinions for whatever reason and being a young English manager with one year at Derby, some of that I understood.
“But at the same time I think sometimes we just have to judge people on face value. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. All managers should be judged the same.
“I was pretty proud of what we achieved last season in coming in the top four. In fact I felt we could have done even better than that for different reasons but I was happy with that. I just have to do the job as well as I can and hopefully the opinions will speak for themselves.”