In the middle of a recession, the Chelsea manager maintains calm, but he must be optimistic and not just wait for hard work to pay off.
The autobiography of Frank Lampard is titled ‘Totally Frank.’
“partial Frank,”partial Frank,”premature Frank”premature Frank,”guilefully hasty Frank.”cunningly hasty Frank.
In any event, when Lampard gets wind of the rumor that the winner of the Player of the Year award will be invited to Roman Abramovich’s yacht, there is a passage in the book from the summer of 2005. Lampard tells himself, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
And then, in a home game, he gets the confidence to ask the owner of Chelsea if the rumor is real.
Loudly, Abramovich laughs out.
Gulps from Lampard.
Yet his audacity is finally rewarded.
A few days later, Eugene Tenenbaum, the director, approaches Lampard during his training and asks him how many days he needs. “A week,” blurts out Lampard. Then he reflects, “‘Screw it, I’ve come this far already.’ … ‘I’ll take two weeks, then.'” Plans are created.
There are fixed dates. Flights are reserved.
In lascivious, wistful detail, Lampard’s two-week stay on the Abramovich yacht is portrayed. (In comparison, the Champions League semifinal defeat to Liverpool a few weeks earlier is covered in a couple of sentences). He marvels at the lavish furnishings, the spacious quarters, the courteous workers who, without being asked, carry him fruit plates. Eddie Jordan, the Formula One tycoon, drives up in his yacht one evening and casually invites Lampard and his girlfriend to dinner with Bono. Lampard says, “I’m not a big music fan,” which might explain why the two get along so well.
“It all seemed too good to be true,” writes Lampard. “Me, the boy who struggled to get into the West Ham team, now vacationing on the Sussurro, one of the most expensive private boats at sea? Are you sure? Not bad for a boy from Romford!”
Lampard’s telling of the yacht tale and how he rationalizes most of his career to date have two quietly revealing elements. The first is the embellishment of the riches of the rags, the trophy of the humble Essex boy who made it big, even with a successful soccer father, a private school and an elite academy.
The second is the unshakable conviction that what you put in equals what you get out of the ultimate economy of the world (“nothing ventured, nothing gained”).
Happiness is something that is something that you make for yourself. The arc of history will always bend over time toward fairness, order, and a package holiday on a billionaire’s yacht if you put in the effort and approach life with the right attitude.
This is, paradoxically, a characteristic that in times of adversity is most apparent.
With four defeats in their last six games, Lampard’s Chelsea are currently in mid-season, and it is worth reviewing the measures that have taken them to this stage. Chelsea had become a free-wheeling, goal-scoring attacking circus at the beginning of the season. Lampard then had the defense tightened up in October and conceded two goals in nine games.
Still, although the findings have worsened, Lampard remains highly calm. He said after Chelsea’s 3-1 home loss to Manchester City on Sunday, “I’m relaxed about the ups and downs of form,”
When he looks at the numbers, he is right.
Chelsea’s projected goal differential since the beginning of December is second only to City’s, although they have picked up seven points from seven games.
A tweak or two, a few days of rest, and the universe’s intrinsic rightness would reassert itself.
The only problem is that you can tell Chelsea that more than just an update is required. In the second half on Sunday, there was an attacking move which demonstrated this.
Through the left channel, Mason Mount burst and sent an enticing cross to the six-yard line.
But Timo Werner’s back pass was too short, Hakim Ziyech was lurking in his normal spot at the corner of the penalty area and so the cross remained harmless.
Three individual players who all did what they did best. Outcome: a shambles.
And the logical culmination of a model in which Chelsea has assembled some of the world’s greatest offensive talents without much idea of how they might fit together. They make beautiful runs. They do clever things. Often everything works out, and everyone looks like a genius.
But it doesn’t feel like a sustainable formula, and you wonder if a more restless and curious coach than La