Joe Cole: Let’s not forget Frank Lampard role in Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea FC success story

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Joe Cole staunchly defends Roman Abramovich’s ruthless rule, even though his good friend Frank Lampard was the latest victim of the Chelsea owner’s relentless pursuit of success.

Cole had hoped ex-team-mate Lampard would be given time to build a legacy. But as Chelsea embark on two weeks that could see them complete an FA Cup and Champions League double, he insists Abramovich’s methods cannot be questioned.

Thomas Tuchel, who was parachuted in to save Chelsea’s season when Lampard’s reign went into free-fall at the turn of the year, can lift his first trophy since taking charge in tomorrow’s Cup Final against Leicester after less than four months in the job.

And he can make it an unforgettable season if he adds the Champions League on May 29. Cole said: “Chelsea have been the most successful team in terms of winning trophies in the last 20 years since Roman came in. And they do things a certain way.

“It is a high pressurised situation. You sort of come to the club, you join the ride, you get involved and you strap in because managers come and managers go. But one thing that has been proven is that they continue to win.”

Still, Cole, says Lampard’s role cannot be discounted. Should Chelsea beat Leicester at Wembley, they will end a journey that started with their former manager. His last game in charge before his sacking was the 3-1 win against Luton in the fourth round.

“Thomas Tuchel deserves all the credit he has got,” said Cole. “He’s been fantastic. He’s brought harmony back into the squad. But Tuchel alluded to it when he got the job, he knows there was real talent, real quality players and Frank and Jody [Morris] and the academy staff, bringing those players through, getting into the Champions League [last season] without bringing a signing in was a brilliant achievement.

“When you come in as a manager it’s always your team, and the previous manager’s team until you get your stamp on it. All the credit to Tuchel, but we can’t disregard what Frank and Jody and the academy staff did to help and Tuchel recognises that.”

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One of those players nurtured by Lampard is Mason Mount, who has become a pivotal player for club and country this season. The midfielder is aiming to win his first major trophy after suffering defeat to Arsenal in last year’s final.

Cole is convinced this will be the start of many trophies for Mount, declaring him a Chelsea icon in the making.

He said: “I said it 12 months ago that Mason will go on to be a Chelsea great. I can’t believe why some people weren’t really having him. Which is insanity.

“Football has these mad things. But even the people who were most against Mason will step back now and say ‘maybe I got that one wrong.’

“He will be a Chelsea great. It is unfair on Mason to say he is Frank’s legacy because Mason is a genius and he would have come through anytime, anywhere because he is just a great footballer.

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Getty Images

“But Frank had a big impact on him and what better way to start your career as a midfielder than having the greatest midfielder the club has ever had there at your whim to ask questions? Mason is a great learner which is why he is where he is.”

Would Mount have held his own in the Chelsea side that Cole played in alongside stars such as Lampard, Claude Makelele and Arjen Robben? “It is difficult to answer this because I don’t want to disrespect the current crop or my team-mates,” said Cole. “I’m a great believer in things improving in life. There is a reason records get better all the time so I’m not one of these old players who says, ‘We were better in our day.’

“We were what we were in our day and now these guys are doing it their way. Mason could have played for any team in any era, but he would have to replace a very good player [from my team].”

Should Tuchel secure a double and a top-four finish, the pressure will be on Chelsea to hand him a new contract this summer after he signed an initial 18-month deal.

That is expected to come at the end of the season and Cole said: “I’m sure everyone will be delighted with the work he’s done and I’m sure he’s happy with his squad.

“He will be staying at Chelsea, I’m pretty sure of that. He will have Roman to answer to otherwise.”

Ahead of the FA Cup Final, Budweiser is giving away all of its advertising and sponsorship space to pubs from West London and Leicester as it calls on fans: Support your club; #SupportYourPubs

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