What Frank Lampard has already said about Mauricio Pochettino as Chelsea search for new manager
Frank Lampard is a big fan of Mauricio Pochettino and his man-management skills, the new Chelsea manager has already revealed. The club legend and all-time top scorer was announced as the temporary man in charge of the team as Chelsea seek to make the most informed choice for the role in the long term after sacking Graham Potter on Sunday. Just over two years after he was sacked by the club, Lampard is back with unfinished business.
The role is unlikely to come to him full-time again even if he was to end the season with a much-improved league victory and further Champions League progression though. “No [I haven’t been told it’s out of the question], but I think the role and the explanation of my role speaks for itself in the period that I’m here for,” he said on Thursday.
“On that term, I’m not getting anywhere ahead of myself. I want to do the best possible role that I can impact the club in the best way in this period. After that, we’ll see what happens.”
Lampard has already got experience playing under interim managers and knows the success that they can have after winning the 2009 FA Cup under Gus Hiddink, 2012 Champions League with Roberto Di Matteo and 2013 Europa League under temporary bosses. Chelsea are now taking their time in what is being described as a thorough and exhaustive process to decide the next permanent fixture in the dugout.
Amongst the names on the list are Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique but someone that already has previous in the league is former Tottenham boss Pochettino. Lampard never managed against the Argentine during his first spell at Chelsea but did face his Southampton and Spurs sides as a player between 2013 and 2017.
“I want to manage,” Lampard said shortly after calling a close on his playing time. “Most of my career I wasn’t sure but, when I got into my 30s, I became a lot more interested. Much as I’m interested in coaching I’ve just as much interest in how to deal with people.
“I see someone like [Mauricio] Pochettino and his relationship with players — like both a boss and a bit of a friend — and I love that I sometimes see coaches trying to be clones of someone else. I don’t want to be a clone, I want to be my own man.”
Later on in his career, this time as a pundit, Lampard analysed the play of the ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach, saying:
“With Pochettino I felt there was a lot of build-up play. Yes, they would try to play from the back. I think now there’s an element where these four [Son, Kane, Alli and Moura] can really hurt teams, so does it mean we go a little bit more direct into Kane and get runners off him?
“I think they scored a couple of goals against Bournemouth recently [by going direct]. Maybe going back to front a little bit quicker. “They’ll still play because they have some good players. You’ll find Aurier tends to get quite high up the pitch and then they end up a little bit more stable, physically strong in these [defensive areas, with the back four and the two sitters]. That’s the kind of protection, he is building into the team.”
Not only will he want to use some of those skills to manage the 33-man squad he has at his disposal, Lampard may well be warming the hot seat for Pochettino to come into over the summer.