Frank Lampard insists that his final Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge will not be a farewell to fans because of his close ties to the club.
Following the sacking of Graham Potter just a few days earlier, Lampard succeeded the former interim manager Bruno Saltor in April. The Blues have only won one game under his leadership while scoring just six goals, so his tenure as manager has not exactly gone according to plan.
Frank Lampard sent the fans a message that he later described as “corny” prior to his final game in charge against Newcastle.
“This may sound corny but I don’t feel like it is a goodbye,” Lampard said. “I’ll appreciate it, and it will be the end of the season and the end of my small time back, and I didn’t have that [a chance to interact with the supporters] before because it was Covid. But normally when you leave a club you don’t have a big hurrah as a manager, you are in one day and you are out the next and that is fine.
“This is the corny part but I will never feel like I am saying goodbye to the fans because my career as a player, a coach the first time around, and now this period is there. I live close enough to the stadium and I will be back at Chelsea many times.”
This is Lampard’s second time managing Stamford Bridge; his first job was abruptly terminated in the 2020–21 season by then–owner Roman Abramovich. Chelsea and the rest of the Premier League had been playing their games behind closed doors for almost a year at this point, so the fans had no opportunity to show their support for their former player.