Frank Lampard has discussed the ‘consuming’ role of being a football manager and on how he has put his legendary status on the line by making a return to Chelsea.
Lampard is currently in his second season in charge of Chelsea and in just his third since moving into management, the former England international having spent a single campaign with Championship side Derby County before being appointed at Stamford Bridge.
The 42-year-old enjoyed huge success as a player and won three league titles and the Champions League amongst his major honours with the Blues, in addition to winning over a century of caps at international level.
Lampard, however, says he has quickly found that the ‘consuming’ nature of management is ‘much harder’ than playing and says he faces ’50 problems a day’ at all levels of the club.
“The facts and reality is I realise now it’s much harder than playing in terms of it being consuming,” Lampard told the ‘Eddie Hearn: No Passion, No Point’ podcast.
“The life of a manager is 25 people in the squad, staff in the building, problems with different departments. It’s so far removed from football.
Chelsea’s 2020/21 Premier League season so far, by xG:
⚽️ Expected goals scored: 13.1 – 4th in the league
🥅 Expected goals conceded: 6.5 – 1st in the league
A fantastic start, with an excellent balance being found by Lampard.
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) November 9, 2020
“When you work for your coaching badges, you have to put time in. Then when you start doing it, you have to practise, you have to fail, get better, fail and have relationships with people you never had as a player.
“Players can easily sit there and say they want to be a manager, then they start the road and say: ‘Actually, I want to be a pundit.’ I respect it because being a pundit is tough as well but in terms of management I wanted to test the water.
“A manager gets 50 problems a day. It’s much more consuming but I love it and couldn’t live without it.”
Lampard spent more than a decade at Chelsea and left the west Londoners as their all-time record goalscorer, making 648 appearances for the club in all competitions and winning 11 major honours.
The former favourite says he is under no illusions that his playing achievements ‘helped’ him get the job so early into his management career, and has discussed the possibility of ruining his Chelsea legacy should he fail to bring success to the club.
“I can be really open that it helped me get the job – playing 13 years at the club helped me get the job,” he added.
“I had to put my ego at the door a bit and say that I might ruin what I achieved in 13 years to a degree – because if it doesn’t go well, I will be judged harshly and quickly.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 13, 2020
“I am so driven personally that my biggest fear is myself. If I try to pull the wool over your eyes as Chelsea manager, it’s not going to work.
“My football career put me in a decent position. So if that job is taken away from me, as long as I go in thinking ‘can I do the best job?’ then I think that if I have done the best I can, I will be pretty happy.”