Wednesday 21 August 2019

Frank Lampard looks to future after taking Chelsea reins

The former Blues midfielder is back at Stamford Bridge as head coach.

Frank Lampard has returned to Chelsea as manager. Photo: PA
Frank Lampard has returned to Chelsea as manager. Photo: PA

By PA Sport Staff

Frank Lampard has vowed to look to the future and bring further success to Chelsea after returning to the club as head coach.

The former England midfielder is back at Stamford Bridge following a season in charge of Sky Bet Championship side Derby.

Lampard has signed a three-year deal to replace Maurizio Sarri after the Italian left to join Juventus in June, with assistant manager Jody Morris and first-team coach Chris Jones following him from Pride Park.

The 41-year-old is Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer and won 11 major honours during a successful 13-year stint in west London.

But despite his former glories as a player, Lampard is now intent on lifting silverware as boss of the Blues.

“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” he told the club’s official website.

“Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.

“I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.

“I don’t think I even need to state how much it meant to me to play 13 years at this place, it was home for a long time.

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Lampard enjoyed plenty of success as a player at Chelsea (John Walton/PA)

“Those were all my playing memories and this is a new chapter and I’m really looking forward to it, my absolute desire now is to be here and work hard.”

Lampard, who will be unveiled at a 1400BST press conference at Stamford Bridge, took Derby to the Championship play-off final in his one year in charge.

He had been excused from reporting back for pre-season training with the Rams in order to conclude negotiations after last week being granted permission to speak with Chelsea.

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The Champions League success of 2012 was one of Lampard’s highlights as a player (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia hailed Lampard as “one of the most talented young coaches” around today as she welcomed him back to the club.

“It gives us great pleasure to welcome Frank back to Chelsea as head coach,” she said in the statement announcing his appointment.

“Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game.

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PA graphic

“After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so.

“We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”

Lampard takes over from Sarri, who endured a frosty relationship with the majority of Chelsea fans during his reign despite leading the club to the Europa League title, the Carabao Cup final and a third-placed Premier League finish.

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Chelsea are also in the midst of appealing against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA following irregularities in the signing of young players.

Unless an appeal is successful at some point, Lampard will therefore be unable to recruit new players in the next two transfer windows.

His first competitive game in charge will come at Old Trafford as Chelsea meet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.

Derby confirmed an “undisclosed compensation package” had been agreed with Chelsea.

Lampard also offered his thanks to those at Derby as he made the move back to SW6.

He said: “I would like to say a special thank you to (Derby owner) Mel Morris, the players, staff and everyone who is associated with Derby County Football Club.

“It has been a fantastic experience for me, and I feel privileged to have managed such a prestigious club.

“Most of all, I want to thank the fans who supported me and the team from the day I arrived in the city. I wish everyone the best of luck going forward.”

PA Media

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