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Liverpool rant showed Lampard has 'edge' required to succeed

By Tom Webber
Frank Lampard

London, July 25: Frank Lampard said his confrontation with the Liverpool bench during Chelsea's 5-3 loss showed the "edge" required to succeed at the highest level.

After referee Andre Mariner awarded Liverpool a contentious free-kick for Mateo Kovacic's challenge on Sadio Mane in Wednesday's Premier League game at Anfield, Lampard became embroiled in an expletive-laden dispute with Jurgen Klopp and the opposition dugout.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold scored from the subsequent free-kick to give the champions a 2-0 lead.

Footage of the incident was shared widely on social media and the Chelsea boss has since apologised for the language he used but not for defending his team.

Asked if it was a display of a harder edge that is needed to manage an elite club, Lampard said: "You obviously do. You could probably find a rap sheet for all managers that have been in the game for quite a while because we're in a very high-pressure job and we want to do well for our team.

"I would expect, and again I don't like the way my language was, if I was a Chelsea fan or a Liverpool fan or a Manchester United fan, I could go on and on, you want people to care as much as the fans do.

"When I feel a decision goes against me, and it's 25 yards from goal and I know that Trent's going to put it in the top corner, which did make me feel a bit silly afterwards and I had a small smile at that point. I knew that was a pivotal moment for my team in the game that I felt was wrong, and as I say we had a lot on the game.

"So, yeah, I do have an edge. I wouldn't have been able to play for Chelsea for so long in a team that was trying to be Premier League or Champions League winners pretty much every year I was here. And I've seen people around me who have an edge.

"I can't stand there and demand an edge from my players after Sheffield United [a 3-0 defeat on July 11] and then not have that in myself to try to drive the club forward. Again, it's not the right way to do it with the language I used. It can happen in the game.

"I've got absolutely huge respect for Jurgen Klopp. I shook his hand at the end as I say, it was nothing to do with what Liverpool Football Club have done, I applaud them in the highest degree no matter what the result would've been the other day. It was just an in-game moment for me."

Liverpool were presented with the Premier League trophy after the game and Lampard warned them not to become "too arrogant", though he acknowledges it is an attribute that can be beneficial in professional football.

He said: "I think arrogance is a very important quality in terms of how you attack a match as a player, as a manager, because you will be full of expectation around you, criticism of anything you do that might be seen as being wrong or not quite right, and if you don't have a level of arrogance and belief in what you do you can be affected negatively, to the point where you might not be able to do your job as well.

"What I think also when you talk about arrogance is respect, and when you are in a role at a club or whether you are talking about how benches work - and I could speak to Jurgen Klopp all day and could fight the corner of a decision or a performance of a referee – what my feeling was the bench at Liverpool, or one person in particular, was absolutely crossing that line so that became arrogant to me."

Lampard said that behaviour "went against the code of how it works on the bench", but insisted his problem was not with Liverpool celebrating or with Klopp.

He added: "I think when you speak between managers, and there are a lot of decisions that go – and you can hear it much more clearly now without the crowd – and lots of managers will call for decisions whether right or wrong, and then you speak with each other.

"But when people on the bench jump up and want to speak across to myself and then smirk and smile and continue to do so for quite a while, I think that is past the code."

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Story first published: Saturday, July 25, 2020, 4:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 25, 2020
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