Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says there are no hard feeling between him and Roman Abramovich after he was sacked by the London club in January, while admitting he has also been in heavy demand from a string of new clubs.
Thomas Tuchel, who was similarly deemed surplus to requirements by his former employers Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve, filled Lampard’s vacancy in the Stamford Bridge dugout, where he has overseen a dramatic upturn in form, much of which he has publicly attributed to the groundwork and investment in youth undertaken by Lampard in his season-and-a-half in charge.
Lampard could perhaps be forgiven for harboring some ill-intent towards Roman Abramovich and his right-hand woman Marina Granovskaia for shunting him from the club – but the 106-times capped former England international resisted any such statements when prodded in a recent interview.
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“I’m absolutely appreciative of the opportunity I had to manage Chelsea,” said Lampard at a question-and-answer session in aid of the Willow Foundation.
“It was an incredible time. Everyone knows how I felt about the club.”
Lampard’s magnanimous words match those of Russian owner Abramovich, who issued a rare statement after sacking Lampard in January to pay tribute to arguably the club’s best ever midfielder.
“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” Abramovich said at the time.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics.
“He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
With history well and truly covered, Lampard soon turned to the future, with the ex-Derby boss revealing that he has been approached by several clubs since January but that he has spurned each and every advance thus far.
“Football has consumed my life, firstly as a player and then as a manager,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose their job. But when you go into this career, it can happen –no matter how good you think you are.
“I’ve had some opportunities that have come up in the last six weeks, two months, that have been flattering, but not the right thing. They were not quite right.”
Lampard had been heavily linked with the Celtic job which would have opened a new chapter in his rivalry with Rangers boss and former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, while he has also been touted for the England under-21 position currently occupied by Aidy Boothroyd.
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Whichever offer Lampard ends up taking, he says that he is just looking forward to resuming his career on the training ground.
“It would be something I’m very keen to do in the right time and place,” he said of a potential new role. “My eyes are always on it.
“I’m always watching football and trying to get better. I’ll try and find the right time and right opportunity. I’m very keen to get working again.
“How much it consumes you when you’re in it is a big deal. You cannot take away your love of the game. I like to keep involved.”
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