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Alba Iulia
Sunday, September 27, 2020

How Frank Lampard’s ruthless advantage helped him through Chelsea’s first impressive season

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It was Frank Ancelotti who wanted to break the “untouchable” culture promoted for the first time by Jose Mourinho in Chelsea, of which Frank Lampard was part.

When Ancelotti arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2009, his plan was to rotate the team and break the group of Mourinho players who could be guaranteed their seats.

Legend has it that when news filtered into the locker room that Lampard would be rested for one of Ancelotti’s early games, Ray Wilkins was sent to inform the Italian that the midfielder was due to start.

Ancelotti gave in and Lampard responded by enjoying his best scoring season for the Blues, scoring 27 times in a total of 51 appearances, while Chelsea won two goals in the League and FA Cup.

Lampard had actually proved “untouchable” at that stage and yet it seems that the term does not fit into his coaching vocabulary, having shown a ruthless streak that helped shape a Chelsea first season in office that exceeded all expectations .

With the Champions League qualification assured, Lampard can claim his first trophy since he moved to management leading Chelsea to victory in the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday, but did not choose the easy way during his opening in 12 months in office.

Perhaps it was helpful that Roman Abramovich had been present to attend the performance with his own eyes, but it is exactly a year since Lampard first signaled his ruthless streak as Chelsea’s head coach.

The blues were in Salzburg, where the owner Abramovich was a surprise spectator, for their penultimate pre-season friendly match. Lampard’s team won 5-3, but it turned out to be David Luiz’s last appearance for the club.

Following an error-strewn performance, Luiz was relegated to the bench for the final friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on August 3 and five days later the central defender had been sold to Arsenal after spending the last day with Blues workout alone.

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