Frank Lampard believes his former club can dig themselves out of a considerable hole, as the reigning Premier League champions are reeling from five defeats in their opening 10 games of the season.
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Lampard, 37, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Champions League and a Europa League trophy with Chelsea during his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, with his goals from midfield — Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals — a key part of the most successful spell in club history.
Now playing for New York City FC in Major League Soccer, via a loan move to their sister club Manchester City last season, Lampard believes Jose Mourinho and the current Chelsea squad can turn things around and get back to winning ways in the PL and in Europe.
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Speaking at Buckingham Palace after receiving an OBE from Prince William for his services to soccer, the current MLS star had the following to say about Chelsea’s slow start to the season.
“It is difficult. We have all been in situations and it happens a lot in football,” Lampard said. “We all jump on and talk about it a lot here but a team with the level of Chelsea, all eyes are on them and it is very hard to keep at that level. Their level last year made them the best team in the country. Chelsea will be back. It is a blip. Everyone is pretty honest about it, Chelsea don’t expect to lose as many games early in the season. I see them turning it around. I see the ability in the team, what they have there as a club. They are a huge club and whether they can win the league now, it will be very difficult but I’m sure come Christmas and onwards I am sure you will see them back up where they belong.”
Asked about how much this run will be hurting Mourinho, Lampard revealed his appreciation for the Portuguese coach and backed him to turns things around despite reports claiming he will be fired after more incidents off the pitch have been met with poor performances on it.
“[It will hurt] a lot because he is a winner and he’s made no bones about that himself, he likes to win his record says that and that is why it will be hurting him, as with all of us. At a club like Chelsea that is expected of everyone but I have no doubts in his ability,”Lampard added. “I know he is a fantastic manager. I’ve worked with him for a long time on two different occasions and I know the ability they have there in the dressing room. That is what, in the end, will get them through. The ability on the pitch. Sometimes you have periods where too many players are not in form and when you are like that you have problems. When they come back to form you will see Chelsea winning games.”
Lampard had his differences with Mourinho, especially in his final season at Stamford Bridge as the club failed to meet his contract demands and he then moved onto MLS via Man City in a protracted move which infuriated Mourinho. However, the appreciation Lampard has shown for Mourinho with these comments suggests they’ve kissed and made up and it also echoes the view many people have towards knee-jerk reactions calling for Mourinho to be fired.
The English national team legend will always be a Chelsea legend and comments like this show how much the club still means to him despite spending time at City last season and now plying his trade in North America.