Frank Lampard says that he carried “a lot of doubts” with him before eventually becoming the new Chelsea boss last summer.
Lampard began his coaching career at Derby, signing up to a three-year deal in May 2018. However, after guiding the Rams to the play-off final in his first season, he set himself up for bigger things.
Indeed, Chelsea came calling last Spring and he took on the head coach’s job at Stamford Bridge in July.
Speaking to The Athletic, Lampard revealed that he was unsure if he should move back to his former club so early in his coaching career. However, the “pull” of a return eventually swayed him.
“It’s my club and the pull of it was always going to get me, no matter where I might have been,” the 42-year-old said. “I didn’t know when that Chelsea opportunity might come around again, if ever.
“On top of that, the idea of staying at Derby was a tough one. It was at a tough period and I think that’s become evident now.
“So the decision was clear-cut, but I did have doubts, if ‘doubts’ is the right word.
“Managing Derby was doing it on a much smaller scale, tight-knit, expectation levels so-so and some games would go under the radar if you didn’t get a great result.
“At Chelsea, I knew all of that would change instantly and I wanted to have a positive impact because I knew that my name and the ex-player thing wouldn’t last that long. So yeah, I had a lot of doubts.”
Chelsea progress under Lampard
Lampard also entered the Chelsea hot seat in trying circumstances; the Blues were in the midst of a two-window transfer ban last summer that would eventually end in January.
But after guiding his back into the Champions League, Lampard and Chelsea spent over £200million in the recent market.
The likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have revamped the club’s attack, but it is in defence where Chelsea have improved most.
New goalkeeper Edouard Mendy already has seven clean sheets to his name, while veteran defender Thiago Silva has proved a vital influence both on and off the pitch.