• Lampard acknowledges extra pressure after Chelsea spending spree

    Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

    Frank Lampard has acknowledged the extra pressure that will come after Chelsea’s spending spree, insisting he’s ‘aware expectations are going to go up hugely’.

    Chelsea have managed to bring in six new players ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, having seen a Fifa-imposed transfer ban lifted back in December.

    Lampard was unable to add any new players to his ranks when he inherited the managerial reins at Stamford Bridge from Maurizio Sarri in July 2019, and did not recruit in the winter transfer window despite being free to enter the market.

    However, the 42-year-old finally secured his first signing in February, as ex-Ajax star Hakim Ziyech signed a pre-contract agreement with the Blues after a £36-million ($47m) deal was negotiated between the two clubs.

    Timo Werner was next through the door in June, with the German striker moving to west London from RB Leipzig for a fee of £47.5m ($63m), and Ben Chilwell moved to the Bridge from Leicester for £50m ($66m) a month later.

    Chelsea were also able to bring in Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr on free transfers in July, before taking their summer expenditure past £200m ($263m) by wrapping up the signing of Kai Havertz.

    Bayer Leverkusen sanctioned the midfielder’s departure for an initial £72m ($95m) lump payment after one of the year’s longest-running transfer sagas, and the Blues are now looking in very strong shape heading into Lampard’s second season in charge.

    The club great knows that he will be under more scrutiny after splashing the cash, and says that he will have to utilise the support of those closest to him to ensure that he achieves all of his goals for the upcoming campaign.

    ‘I’m very aware that a club like Chelsea, even though we had a transfer ban, even though the year was difficult, expectations are going to go up hugely,’ Lampard told the High Performance Podcast.

    ‘And I just have to accept that as part of the job, and try and go about my job as well as I can. And then if I am having relationships, between managing up [to the board] or managing around me, I have to be as good as I can with those, because they’re really important.

    ‘Because the tough times will come, and I’ll rely on those, all of those little ones. And it might not be managing up, that might be managing the kit man or a member of staff around you.

    ‘I’ve seen how the dominoes can fall very quickly. And I think if you isolate yourself as a manager, or you don’t want to open yourself up to all of those relationships along the way, I think they fall much quicker.’

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