FRANK LAMPARD will try to bring some Mauricio Pochettino-style magic to help Chelsea defy their transfer ban.
He would never say it like that, of course — the rivalry between the two London clubs is too fierce.
Frank Lampard wants to emulate the work of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham[/caption]
But the new Chelsea boss loves the way Pochettino has turned a Spurs squad, packed with home-grown players, into contenders at home and Champions League finalists last season.
And it is not lost on Lampard that Tottenham’s chief did it without signing a player for two transfer windows — the length of the ban Fifa imposed on the Blues.
Lampard said: “Yeah, they had their own ban — self-imposed! I love Pochettino as a manager.
“They have great young talent. The Harry Kanes… which the manager has developed. It’s great to see managers working like that.
“I have Tottenham fans as friends. Or in every cab I get in! And you can see they are happy with the way that their team are working.”
The way that Lampard describes the achievements of Poch at Spurs sounds close to the expectations for him at the Bridge — create a playing philosophy, promote youth but keep the club at football’s top table.
The new Blues manager said: “I think what Pochettino has done is he’s remained competitive and taken Tottenham to new heights.
“He’s brought them up towards that level with some younger players and the relationship, the rapport he has with fans is something I look upon as a manager and say what a fantastic job he’s done.
“I think we probably are in a position now, with the ban, where we have to look slightly differently at it, especially with the good young players that we’ve got.
“That’s not me shying away from wanting to be competitive. But I want to show the fans in the way we play and in the feeling for the club because I think fans respect that. And we’ll try to be successful.”
Lampard has admired the way Pochettino has built a relationship with Tottenham fans[/caption]
Lampard will have to launch a charm offensive with players like Callum Hudson-Odoi, 18, and persuade them they will get first-team chances.
You imagine he can be persuasive. He is managed by the YM&U Group whose other clients include Ant and Dec, and he has something of their winning combination of every-man appeal and quick-wittedness.
During 13 years as a Chelsea player, Lampard played a huge role in re-setting what success meant at the club.
He was one of the big characters in the dressing room. And Lampard claims he wants player power — within reason.
He said: “We had a strong dressing room which was part of the success.
“So I want player power in the dressing room. Players must have personality.
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“You don’t have to have John Terry and Didier Drogba who were powerful personalities and players. You can have players who might look slight that can be powerful. I want players to own it.”
And Lampard will NOT shirk the challenge of trying to close the gap between Chelsea and the top two Manchester City and Liverpool.
He said: “What we do daily in training will bridge that gap because I believe we have the quality to close the gap. I genuinely believe that.”