BLUE BEAUTY! Frank Lampard takes first Chelsea training session (Photos)
Frank Lampard believes the Premier League’s new generation of managers are blazing a trail for the future of English bosses.
Lampard’s appointment at Chelsea this week has completed a remarkable turnaround as there are now seven English managers in the 20-team top flight, with Dean Smith, Eddie Howe, Graham Potter, Sean Dyche, Roy Hodgson and Chris Wilder also flying the flag.
Leicester’s Northern Irish boss Brendan Rodgers makes it eight Brits, as our football swings back towards how it looked in the early 1990s — when foreign managers were in the minority.
It is easy to forget it was France's Arsene Wenger who became the first overseas import to win the Premier League when he did it with Arsenal in 1998.
Wilder and Smith have come up to the top-flight with Sheffield United and Aston Villa respectively, while Potter took over at Brighton following Chris Hughton's sacking. It is a renaissance for English managers that's something the Football Association will take pride in.
Former Chelsea midfielder Lampard was part of England’s ‘Golden Generation’ of players around the start of the century, which also included now-Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, Fulham's new gaffer Scott Parker and England Lionesses boss Phil Neville.
That group are now into their late 30s and early 40s and being given their chances on the touchline, and Lampard believes it is because they all benefited from gaining experience playing for so many different coaches during their careers.
Lampard excelled under Jose Mourinho, also worked with Double-winning Carlo Ancelotti and lifted a trophy playing for Guus Hiddink.
He'll now look to use what they taught him in his own managerial career.
The 41-year-old says he “does not want to be the standard bearer” but insists his generation can pave the way for more English bosses in the future.
Lampard added: “I’m pleased as a young British manager to be given this chance, yes. I think it’s been something we have spoken about a lot lately.
"It is something the FA have worked lot on, we have seen Steven Gerrard, we have seen Phil Neville, we have seen Scott Parker, being given the chance.
“I don’t say I see it as a responsibility, but I would love to do well, because I think we are a generation of players, worked under a lot of managers and would have been influenced by a lot of managers, lot of different qualities.
“I worked under I don’t know how many managers, [with] different qualities, and I know Steven Gerrard would have done and Scott Parker would have done. I don’t want to be the standard bearer for young English managers but I would love to do well personally at this club and I would love so see other young English managers come through and be getting these kind of jobs.”
Meanwhile, Lampard has promised he will be wiping the slate clean for all of Chelsea's players as they begin pre-season training under a new manager for the third time in four years.
Midfielder Danny Drinkwater, a key member of Leicester's title-winning side three years ago who cost the Blues £35m, was frozen out under then-boss Maurizio Sarri last season. Defender and former skipper Gary Cahill also became a peripheral figure — something Lampard says will not happen again.
The Chelsea players will report over the next few days to a training camp in the Republic of Ireland, and Lampard says it will then be up to them to earn first-team squad places.
“Everybody who joins up, and it will be staggered, will have the opportunity to show what they can do, their attitude, the way they play and train in pre-season onwards," he said.
“I would be a fool to come here with ideas about I’m going to freeze anybody out.
“I want to get the best out of the squad. Everybody has an opportunity. I have no preconceived ideas about anybody. I have got good knowledge of the squad but I need to see them over the next month.”
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