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10 Jan, 2021 12:55

Abramovich does NOT owe me special treatment, says Chelsea boss Lampard as he battles to save job

Abramovich does NOT owe me special treatment, says Chelsea boss Lampard as he battles to save job

Under-fire Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he is not expecting preferential treatment from billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich just because of his success as a player at the London club.

Lampard’s position is reported to be under serious threat amid a slump in form which has seen the Blues pick up just one win in their past six Premier League games, leaving them languishing down in ninth in the table.

Lampard saw the arrival of more than £200 million worth of new talent in a summer spending spree sanctioned by Abramovich, but the likes of German duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – who cost a combined fee of almost £130 million – have thus far struggled to settle.

Reports have stated that the Chelsea hierarchy are actively looking at alternatives to the 42-year-old Lampard, with big names such as former Juventus boss Max Allegri and recently-sacked Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel among the free agents on the market.

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Rather than shirking from the challenge of turning things around during his second season in the dugout at Stamford Bridge, Lampard recently said he finds it “exciting.”

The Blues midfield legend has now said he does not expect to be cut extra slack from Abramovich merely because of a playing career at Stamford Bridge which saw him end as the club’s all-time top scorer and win three Premier League titles as well as four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League and Europa League.

“When the owner came to Chelsea all those years ago it made my career,” Lampard said as he prepared his team to face League Two underdogs Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

“Maybe I would have gone on to elsewhere and it might have happened in my own personal career, but fortunately I was at a club that had an owner that brought [players] in and changed the face of it, and changed my life.

"I understand that but I don’t think that should give me any head start.”

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Despite the current slump – which came after Chelsea had briefly topped the Premier League table at the start of December amid a 17-match unbeaten run – Lampard said he was not concerned by the rumors circling about his future.

“The rest of the detail is how I work with the players. I can’t jump out of that and dictate what anyone else thinks about it. It is beyond me. I am here to try to coach the club and do as well as I can,” the former England international said.  

“All I want to concentrate on is the job in hand. I can’t control some things and I certainly don’t want to rely on anything that has happened in the past here.

“Things I can’t control outside of that would be a waste of time for me."


Lampard added: “I have felt huge support from this club, coming back here to manage them and the way it has worked in the period I have been back.

“In my time here as a player I felt huge support for 13 years and in the end 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 have earned the right for anything that takes me out of the equation.

“All I can do is be honest about how I see it. I can understand there is work to be done here.”

While Chelsea have shown little sentimentality in dismissing managers before, Lampard is said to enjoy good relations with director Marina Granovskaia – one of Abramovich’s most trusted lieutenants.

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Lampard’s immediate predecessors Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte both endured similar pressure in the middle of a season (in Conte’s case during his second campaign, after winning the title, and in Sarri’s case during his sole season in charge), but both managed to limp on until the end of term.

For Sarri, that was rewarded with the Europa League title and a top-four finish, while Conte won the FA Cup in his final game in charge.

That signals that Lampard could be given initial time to turn things around, although he will be under no illusions that sealing a Champions League place is the bare minimum expected, and that recent failings must be addressed posthaste if there is any chance of that happening.