English Premiership

Lampard: Blues benchmark has changed since Rodgers made job remark

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Frank Lampard (Getty Images)
Frank Lampard (Getty Images)

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea have a different "benchmark" from when Brendan Rodgers claimed taking the Stamford Bridge job could "destroy" the Northern Irishman’s managerial career.

Lampard's Chelsea will face one-time Blues academy coach Rodgers in his current, highly successful guise as Leicester manager in Tuesday's Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium.

Rodgers was touted as a managerial contender when Chelsea sacked Andre Villas-Boas in 2012, but the then-Swansea boss publicly distanced himself from any links, suggesting the job could do more harm than good.

Lampard feels Rodgers might look differently on Chelsea now, with the Blues having added former goalkeeper Petr Cech as technical advisor to bridge the gap between boot room and board.

"I don't want to speak for Brendan when he said that, but I suppose at that time maybe there was a turnaround of managers, I was a player here, so I get that," Lampard said.

"And whether he would give the exact same answer if you asked him after the game tomorrow, I'm not sure, maybe not.

"For me all I can do is tackle the job that's in front of me, and at the moment we as Chelsea are not the Chelsea I think of when Brendan made those quotes.

"I'm presuming they were made at the time of Chelsea having (Didier) Drogba, (John) Terry, Cech, I'm not going to name myself, (Claude) Makelele, whoever.

"And it would have been a team that was always challenging, and the benchmark was different.

"At the moment we're not a team that has (Diego) Costa, (Cesc) Fabregas, (Eden) Hazard either, of the era that came slightly after that.

"We're a team that now, as I say, we're relying on players at one end of the pitch who are young, new to the Premier League, young in the Premier League.

"And so maybe the benchmarks are changing. I can't consider it too much, I can say it to you because I feel it's true, and then just keep working.

"If I can get improvement and if we can get success in how success feels now, that's all I can ask in the short term for myself."

Chelsea will head to Leicester sitting seventh in the league, having won just two of their last seven Premier League matches.

The Blues edged out 10-man Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage for a vital victory on Saturday night, leaving Lampard now hopeful of a return to form.

Leicester sit third in the table and can legitimately push on with a title challenge, with Rodgers continuing to oversee the Foxes' fine development.

Chelsea's recent wobbles have led to speculation on Lampard’s future in west London, but the 42-year-old insisted the Blues are far from the only Premier League club where a patchy run of form would yield intense scrutiny.

"It has to be short-term in this job, and it's not just for myself by the way," said Lampard.

"Let's not make Chelsea out to be the only club like this. We’ve seen a couple of big clubs and big managers be questioned within one or two or three weeks of a couple of results this year.

"And that's the modern world. So, I'm not crying out about this, that's the Premier League, we all have different expectations.

"If we’re seen not to get to them, then pressure comes; that's why we're in this job, to be able to handle that."

- TEAMtalk media

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