FRANK LAMPARD says Roman Abramovich changed his life — so the Chelsea owner does NOT owe him anything.
Yet Stamford Bridge’s under-pressure gaffer believes he has done well enough to avoid becoming the latest managerial casualty of the billionaire’s 18-season reign.
Frank Lampard’s future as Chelsea manager has been called into question amid their poor run of formCredit: Reuters
Frank Lampard says Roman Abramovich does not owe him anythingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“But fortunately I was at a club that had an owner that changed the face of it and changed my life.
“But I don’t think that should give me any head start and the job I did last year, in one year, to get us to fourth was a huge positive because of the constraints.
“After that, now I need to go again.”
In appointing Lampard, Abramovich and right-hand woman Marina Granovskaia seemed to be taking a longer-term approach to the future.
But they have also shown a lack of sentimentality in sacking a number of Chelsea bosses.
Not least Roberto Di Matteo — another former playing hero who was given the boot just months after winning the Champions League.
With four defeats in the last six games, Lampard is going through the first really sticky patch of his return to the club.
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Abramovich has spent over £110m on sacking managers since his 2003 arrival
He said: “A month ago everything was rosy and now a month later, in very quick time, everyone is looking negatively.
“I felt huge support from this club, coming back here to manage.
“In my time as a player I felt huge support for 13 years. I left the club because they wanted to move on to other things.
“I understand what football is, I understand the demands and expectations. So I don’t think I can earn the right of anything that takes me out of that equation.
“When you have new players coming in, that are expected to just drop into the Premier League and produce at a young age, there are going to be challenges.”
Lampard says recruits like Kai Havertz need time to develop.
He said: “I remember coming to this club a long time ago and in year one I was probably just an average Premier League player.
“Year two slightly better, year three better than that, year four and onwards my levels rose and I could really contribute.
“And when I look at the new players, I see it like that.
“But I can’t try and dictate what everyone else thinks about that.”
A defeat in the FA Cup by League Two Morecambe would surely test Abramovich’s patience.
The Blues may well give chances to some of the young players called up to train with the senior squad last week.
But Lampard was on the wrong side of a classic giantkilling when he made his first FA Cup appearance.
He and Rio Ferdinand were 18 when Harry Redknapp picked them for West Ham’s third-round replay against League One Wrexham 24 years ago.
The Hammers lost 1-0 and Lampard said: “I remember the disappointment and reaction to losing.
“It was a tough time, those early days at West Ham. It wasn’t where we are here now at Chelsea or where West Ham are now. But it was still a giantkilling.
“I know the feeling going into these games. I know that what you have to do is apply yourself to get the result.”
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