Frank Lampard says the arrival of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in 2003 made his career as a player but does not think his personal relationship with the club should influence the Russian’s decisions.
Former midfielder Lampard enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Stamford Bridge during the first decade of Abramovich’s reign before he returned to the club as head coach in 2019.
Lampard performed well in his first year in charge and expectations increased this season after the club spent over £200m on new signings, but a run of four defeats in six matches has seen Chelsea slip to ninth in the Premier League table and put the 42-year-old’s position under scrutiny.
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Despite acknowledging the success of last season, which included Champions League qualification and an FA Cup final following a summer transfer ban, Lampard says his personal relationship with Chelsea should not necessarily influence the club’s decisions.
“I have to sit here and say that when the owner came to Chelsea all those years ago, it made my career,” Lampard said.
“Maybe I would have gone elsewhere or whatever might have happened in my personal career, but fortunately I was at a club that had an owner who was brought in and absolutely changed the face of it and changed my life.
“I understand that, but I don’t think that should give me any head start. I’m here and I think the job I did last year, in one year, to get us to fourth, was a huge positive for us because of the constraints, but now I need to go again.”
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Chelsea briefly moved top of the Premier League table by beating Leeds 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on December 5 but have managed one win in all competitions since.
New signings – including Germany internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – have struggled in recent weeks, but Lampard believes they will improve over time and referenced his own career at the club.
He added: “As I said before and I keep saying the same thing, I never felt it would be a straight line. I was very aware of that going into the season, particularly when we didn’t have time to work with the new players.
“I remember coming to this club a long time ago and in year one I was probably an average Premier League midfield player, year two I started better, year three better than that, then year four and onwards, my levels rose to levels where I could really contribute to the club.
“So when I look at the new players I see it like that and then the rest of the detail is how I work with the players.
“I can’t jump out of that and try and dictate what anyone else thinks about it, it’s beyond me. I’m here to coach the club and do as well as I can.”
Chelsea’s next game sees them host Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, before a west London derby against Fulham in the Premier League on January 15, live on Sky Sports.
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