As one of the most successful players of his era, and one of the most storeyed in Chelsea history, Frank Lampard is a big-name individual in football. A record goal scorer in Blue, Lampard was one of the best Chelsea have ever had. In his time at Stamford Bridge, he won every domestic title he could as well as a UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophy. For Lampard, then, there were many special highlights in a quite incredible career.
However, since arriving at Everton, his focus has been on staying up as opposed to winning anything. He is now managing Everton, a club who has not won a trophy since 1995, and was in relegation trouble when he turned up. A foul March and April has given way to a splendid May so far, with Everton looking more and more certain to beat the drop. The collapse of Leeds United and Burnley allied to their own good results has seen the Toffees climb away from the drop zone.
Lampard, though, believes that if he can keep up Everton it would beat anything that he achieved as a player in terms of how good it would feel.
What did Frank Lampard say about keeping Everton in the Premier League?
When asked about what it would mean to keep the Toffees up, Lampard was affirmative that it would be among his most important achievements in his football career. A trip to Watford on Wednesday evening will see the Blues given a chance to more or less take control of their own destiny. According to Lampard, it would be an incredible personal and club-wide achievement, saying: When you live this experience of a relegation battle it so consumes you and you so want the right thing because you understand what the stakes are. The stakes for this are bigger for me now than when I won the Premier League as a player because of what it means to the club.
“You know the economics of it are greater as well, to a different degree, and you know what it means to the fans and the people who work here. There shouldn’t be any way, with four games to go and one point out of the relegation zone, that you think you are fine. We’ve got a big job to do still.”
It is an interesting take and one that many would struggle to see if they have not worked in management. As a coach, though, the concern becomes not just personal results but how the club looks after the coach leaves. For Lampard, keeping Everton up offers a stay of execution for his coaching career. If he was the first man to relegate the Blues since the Second World War ended, though, it would be a black mark on an already challenged managerial CV.
Perhaps now Lampard can better understand the pressures felt by the many Chelsea coaches he played under during his trophy-laden playing career. As a manager, he can fully appreciate what is at stake for himself and for everyone else at the club.