Frank Lampard has called on homegrown managers to be shown more respect after becoming only the second Englishman to manage in two Champions League campaigns.
Chelsea’s manager believes his compatriots deserve increased opportunities at the highest level after he followed in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Robson, who took charge of Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Newcastle in the competition. The four other English coaches to have managed in the Champions League since its revamp in 1992 – Ray Harford, Gary Neville, Harry Redknapp and Craig Shakespeare – only did so for one campaign.
“I don’t feel a responsibility of the English managers’ union or whatever you want to call it,” Lampard said. “But I was surprised by the stat when I was told it last week – the great Bobby Robson to be the only Englishman who’s done it.
“I used to hear towards the end of my career about English managers who get jobs in the Premier League and there’s a merry-go-round and all this sort of thing.
“But I actually think it’s slightly different. I think we’re sometimes seeing English managers showing their qualities in the game, throughout the Premier League, throughout the Championship, throughout the leagues, and hopefully there are more opportunities for them. With the brilliant invasion of great quality coaches and players into the Premier League, sometimes I think our eyes go to that and it becomes very new and trendy.
“And rightly so with managers that achieve so much. But also sometimes I think we have managers at home who can do the jobs as well. I’m not thinking of myself being anywhere near the standard bearer for it because there are great managers and young coaches out there. All I try to do is the job as well as I can.”
Lampard, whose side have travelled to Russia to face Krasnodar on Wednesday, was asked if he is judged more harshly because he is English. “I think possibly, yes,” he said.
“When I got this job I think a lot of people were questioning me. A lot of people told me: ‘Are you sure you want to take it?’ Sometimes people can be very quick to form opinions for whatever reason and being a young English manager with one year at Derby, some of that I understood.
“But at the same time I think sometimes we just have to judge people on face value. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. All managers should be judged the same.
“I was pretty proud of what we achieved last season in coming in the top four. In fact I felt we could have done even better than that for different reasons but I was happy with that. I just have to do the job as well as I can and hopefully the opinions will speak for themselves.”
Chelsea opened Group E by drawing 0-0 with Sevilla last week and will expect to beat Krasnodar, who could be without nine players. Lampard, who has decided to rest Thiago Silva, could hand Antonio Rüdiger his first start of the season.
Rüdiger almost left Chelsea this month but the German centre-back has knuckled down in training in a bid to regain his place and returned to the bench for the 0-0 draw with Manchester United last Saturday.
“I’ve had discussions with Antonio,” Lampard said. “I’ve always had a positive relationship with him. Sometimes you have to have players out of the squad and it’s always big news for everybody. But we have a very positive relationship. He’s in the squad and very much in contention to play.”