Frank Lampard must show his ruthless side to secure Chelsea’s top four place

Over and above Frank Lampard’s phenomenal playing career at Chelsea, what also stood out was the fact that he seemed to be a thoroughly decent chap.

In my experience, he always had time for the supporters, patiently signing autographs and posing for photographs.

An intelligent man, he always comes across thoughtfully in his media duties as well having a healthy dose of humility and self-deprecating humour.

Many in the media were falling over themselves, mouths drooling over what they perceived to be Lampard ‘sticking the boot’ in to the board over Chelsea’s lack of transfer activity.

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Were his comments to be construed as digs at the board in the same way that Antonio Conte had infamously done and many Chelsea managers before him?

The media could hardly contain themselves as their narrative segued from a fresh young Chelsea head coach doing exceptionally well under difficult circumstances to an angry young man being thwarted by a faceless and all-powerful corporate organisation. It was all going horribly wrong, again, at the club they love to hate and for the same reasons.

Power dynamics; leaks; disharmony; player and manager unrest are the classic Chelsea narrative and meat and drink to hacks with deadlines to meet, clicks to bait and papers to sell. All lasciviously devoured by the hungry audience on social media, waiting to be fed slabs of fresh meat, like Vulture chicks awaiting their dutiful parents.

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But conspiracy theories and rumour mongering apart, there does appear to be a shift in the dynamic of Lampard’s developing managerial career at Chelsea.

Whatever the constraints he has been under with a star player departing in the summer, no summer signings and a reliance on young inexperienced, untested players Lampard has somehow managed to position Chelsea in the top four…