Frank Lampard has admitted that finding the correct role for Kai Havertz was one of the ‘coaching problems’ he encountered at Chelsea.
The Blues legend took charge of the club in the summer of 2019 and did well to secure a top-four finish despite losing star player Eden Hazard and having to contend with a transfer embargo.
But just eight months after his creditable first season as a Premier League manager, Lampard was handed his P45 following a bad run of results.
The bad form came despite Lampard receiving over £200million to sign new players in the summer of 2020, however, he admitted he struggled to get the best out of some of them.
Lampard said he collaborated with then-chief executive Marina Granovskaia over recruitments but there were some signings which were not mainly driven by him.
On his sacking as Chelsea manager, Lampard told Sky Sports: “It hurt, it hurt a lot. Because I feel like we were working towards something and what had happened for sure bringing in those players had changed the aspects…
“When we changed and brought players in, I had different problems – coaching problems. What’s going to get the best out of Timo Werner? Is he a no.9? We’ve still got Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud. Kai Havertz, what is his best position?
“It was a club recruitment policy, there were players I wanted. Ben Chilwell was big for me.”
Lampard continued: “If I’m honest in my situation it was a mixture. Certain players I would be very keen to bring in and we did collaborate with Marina.
“Roman Abramovich was not present but you knew he was the overseeing power. I think I quite appreciated that. I never heard from him but it was never a problem for me.
“But there were certain players who were more brought in as a club thing and you have to try and integrate them, that’s how I saw it.
“It certainly gave me from the system we were playing in year one… that was the early part of the season and then we got into a groove up until December and I felt we were overcoming some of our early tweaks.
“The problem came in mid-December when we went to Everton, then Wolves three or four days later and lost.
“Whether I should’ve been surprised or not, I was surprised at how quick the feeling turned around it in terms of how secure I felt at the club.”
Just four months after Lampard left Chelsea in January 2021, the Blues won the Champions League, beating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the final.
Lampard added: “Obviously when the club go on to win the Champions League you have to hold your hands up. Fair play, you’ve just taken them to that, it’s a huge accolade to do that.
“I still look back on my time there with pride in terms of my prints are slightly on that phase… I can look back on that first season and parts of the second season and be very happy with it and proud of what I did there to a degree.”