Chelsea's Frank Lampard shrugs off silence from Roman Abramovich

Jacob Steinberg
·4-min read

Frank Lampard is relaxed about not receiving a congratulatory message from Roman Abramovich after leading Chelsea into the Champions League, saying he feels support from the owner even though they are not in regular contact.

Lampard said his sole aim is to keep Abramovich happy by challenging for the biggest trophies and he does not expect to hear from the Russian if he collects his first trophy as a manager by beating Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

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Lampard pointed out he has a strong relationship with Marina Granovskaia, the powerful director, and Petr Cech, the technical and performance adviser, and was not upset that no call came from Abramovich after his side secured fourth place in the Premier League by beating Wolves last Sunday.

“We haven’t been in touch and there’s nothing in that,” he said. “I think my job is to work as well as I can do. After the Wolves result, coming in the top four, I don’t need a phone call or a message or recognition or anything like that. My job when we come fourth is to think about how we come higher than fourth next year and close the gap.

“It’ll be similar with whatever the result will be against Arsenal. I feel the support from the owner. I have felt it from the moment I took the job. I felt it for many years as a player. I am happy if I can make him happy. Last Sunday was a step forward and I want to continue making those steps.”

Lampard, appointed by Chelsea last summer, is not expecting a debrief from Abramovich during pre-season. “I wouldn’t expect anything,” the 42-year-old said. “I have a very close relationship with Marina and Petr. That relationship has been really good. It feels like a real strength that I can speak to Petr regularly. I can speak with Marina and work in a joined-up way.

“All of that will come through the owner. It’s his club. I am a big boy; I know there are demands. I would always be ready to take any call or have any meeting because this is my life and I am obsessed with how I can get this club to where it wants to be. But I don’t need those calls. I’ll be there if they are to be had.”

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Lampard played with Cech, who retired last year, and speaks to the former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper about potential signings. “It helps a great deal,” he said. “In terms of on the training pitch and working with players, I feel that’s somewhere where my playing experience helped me a huge amount. But relationships with people upstairs are different, so I am very happy to have Petr here because I know him so well.

“There is a real honesty about how we work. I trust that he’s been a winner and he knows what it takes to win. I think we have something in common over how we have a real desire to get to that. We will be judged on results but it will certainly not be for the want of trying that we want to bring success to the club.”

Lampard, who hopes N’Golo Kanté and Willian will be fit to start after injury problems, won four FA Cups as a Chelsea player. He understands the challenges finals bring and is pleased his players have not let up since beating Wolves.

“I do have nerves at times,” he said. “But what can take my nerves away sometimes is when I see the players train, as they have this week, with an intensity. I didn’t want a drop off after Wolves. We could have found that as a mini-celebration, even though fourth is not where we want to be in the end.

“I wanted the week to be good. It has been good. I need to be good. I need to prepare as well as I can and get my meetings right. If I can do those right my nerves aren’t too bad because I understand the game.”