“I’m 100 per cent responsible” – Frank Lampard talks blame culture and finding the balance at Chelsea

Frank Lampard arrived at Chelsea last summer as a very inexperienced manager.

He had gone a season managing Derby County in the Championship and had a decent time there, but it was just his first season in management.

He made the jump to Chelsea in the Premier League and it is safe to say that things didn’t always go his way during his first spell as a manager in the top league.

Lampard’s Chelsea were inconsistent, despite managing to finish in the top four, but fans knew that this was a project that would take some time and things are starting to click now.

Interestingly, Lampard has been speaking about the blame culture and how he prefers to take responsibility himself as a manager, and look at the collective issues, rather than unfairly blame an individual for a mistake – because that it something that happens to everyone, every day.

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Lampard has been speaking about it to the Chelsea website, he said:

“One thing I’ve seen in football, from being a young man trying to make it playing to now managing, is a kind of blame culture. I hear it a lot.

“Part of the way I am is that I never want to look at things that way.

“As a player it was very easy to look at it and say it was the back-four’s fault or I’ll blame the strikers because they didn’t finish my chances. But generally I’m always looking at myself. I was always my own biggest critic.

“On the pitch and off the pitch, I of course made loads of mistakes, but if you want to get better you have to take responsibility.

“It’s of upmost importance to me as a manager and it’s a message that you really have to drill home, because it’s very easy when you’re a coach or a manager and you’ve been there and had your career and you know you made a million mistakes, when you sit at the top of the tree, or in my office at Chelsea, not to think like the 21-year-old who’s making those mistakes you made and just think you’re above it.

“You have to get on the level of these players and they all have different thoughts, they all have different reasons, something at home, on the training pitch, how they see things. So I can’t think that my morals or my values just transmit to everybody and then everyone will be a great trainer like I was and make the most of their talent. Because I didn’t, I made mistakes.

“I have to be very open to that. So for the players to try to take responsibility is a daily chip away at trying to create something that feels that way and we’re in that process at Chelsea. I’m not going to lie, we’ve not won that battle yet, because it definitely takes time, particularly with a younger squad and we have a lot of young players.

“My view now as a manager is that I am responsible and I think that the only way you can create an environment that looks like you’re asking for everyone to be 100 per cent responsible is by them seeing that from yourself.

“So I don’t think it’s a problem to show weakness. I don’t think it’s a problem for me to try to prepare a team for a week and work on a shape and then you come up and it doesn’t work at the weekend, to be a bit open with the players.

“One of my things that I really try to do is look at myself and say; “what could I have done there, I can’t blame the players for that performance”. At moments you’ll sit down with reflection, and of course you look at how the squad looks, but I must make myself 100 per cent culpable as well.

“I want us to be a group of good people as well as good players and a good team.

“I think you have to have respect among each other and you definitely at the top of the club set that tone. That is definitely on me, I’m 100 per cent responsible for that one, and you try to promote that regularly in how you train, how you act, and if you see things that you don’t like within the group you have to act upon them. I want players that can rely on each other when they go out on the pitch, that are going to be tough and back each other up at the right moments.”