Frank Lampard: How the Chelsea manager became the best
Watch the full interview on Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League; Man City vs Chelsea is live from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off is 5.30pm
Last Updated: 23/11/19 1:38pm
Frank Lampard was one of the best midfielders of his generation, but how did he get there? He reveals all to Patrick Davison on Soccer Saturday ahead of Chelsea's trip to Manchester City, live on Sky Sports.
After starting his playing career at West Ham, Lampard was best known for his time at Chelsea, where he made 648 appearances and won a number of trophies, including the Champions League and three Premier League titles.
But how did the current Chelsea manager make it as one of the Premier League's top players? Lampard himself credits his parents for his drive to succeed.
He told Soccer Saturday: "It's thousands of hours of work, simple as that. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a football family that set me a work ethic, particularly from my parents, who told me that I won't get anything in life unless I absolutely dedicate myself and work towards it and I never lost that attitude in my playing career thankfully.
"I wasn't a saint forever because you have to be a person, but when it comes to your work, you have to understand you can only get out of football what you put in. It's a very simple, old school saying, but I truly believe it.
"From being a young boy, being told to run quicker round the block by my dad, to when you're in your late 20s or early 30s and you're still doing extra sprints or extra runs. Those are all the ingredients.
"I remember playing against [Patrick] Vieira and his athleticism, his long legs and the way he flicked the ball over my head a couple of times at Highbury and got it the other side, I was like 'wow, these levels are things I'm going to have to try and reach'.
"Sometimes it wasn't nice because it feels like those players a million miles away from you, but you try and close the gap, you dedicate yourself to what you can improve. Every young player has the same thoughts, we all have those days at a young age where you think you're nowhere near it yet and then it's up to you."
Playing in a 'big game' team
There were plenty of trophies for Lampard at Chelsea - three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a Champions League and Europa League just to name a few - and he credits his team-mates during those years for the success.
"Nobody can do it on their own, I certainly couldn't, and you're as good as your team-mates on and off the pitch," he added.
"When I looked around generally and the squad would change slightly year on year, but we had that real core of players who you rely on who were personalities. They would stand up in the difficult times because it's easy on a good run when you're winning comfortably and rolling teams over at home or whatever, but it's tougher when people question you.
"You wonder if you're going to bounce back from a defeat or from a bad run and fortunately for me, when I think of the people I worked with here at Chelsea, they were the reason we managed to win titles but also for me personally, to be a big part of it.
"We tended to [deliver in big games] and that's why I respect such big teams. You look at Man City and Liverpool and what they're doing now, having been a player and knowing the expectation and demands of playing the likes of Liverpool multiple times in the Champions League and trying to perform on those huge nights that were so important to us all.
"You realise even more when you finish that if you can produce on those big nights and do something special, they are moments that live in history.
"They [the big games] naturally take you to somewhere else. I don't think the preparation changes, I was quite meticulous with that and I didn't change things going into those games, but the build-up with the extra media, the feeling in the morning when you wake up, the standing in the tunnel, the video the manager might show you about the players you might come up against, they naturally bring the levels up in terms of how you feel about the game.
"Then when you step out with the crowd and the cameras are there, of course it brings another level to it and that can be the deciding factor for you individually or as a team of where you're going to get to."
Passing on the torch
Now, Lampard is on the other side of the white line as a manager and will be leading his young Chelsea side into another big game as they take on Premier League champions - and one of Lampard's former team - Manchester City on Saturday Night Football.
But the 41-year-old does not want his side to be judged on their performance at the Etihad alone.
"We are playing Man City and I'm not going to judge us right now on that one game. I will judge us over what we've done until now, how we keep improving, how we work and where we go over a bigger period.
"We know that when you go to Man City or any of these big teams that you can lose, but what you must do is give everything and not roll over, no matter what happens, and you must fight until the end and give everything you can as a team.
"We won't change our plan hugely. Some people ask if we're going to go there and defend or can we go and attack but you're going to have to defend, it's all about how well you do it and it's going to be a huge part of the game.
"There's a balance to it for me and one thing is that we're playing well. I don't want to hide that from the players and double bluff them - they are playing well and they should know that.
"But the other thing is, when you come up against these teams, you don't know if you're going to be judged at the end of the season on these games because there are 38 matches in a season and we want to win a huge majority of them.
"But you do know that when you come up against them head-to-head, the level of detail and the finer moments of the game will be the deciding factor. I try and tell them that they're playing well let's try and look up and look to the teams who have set standards, especially Man City and Liverpool over the last two years, and we can aspire to be anywhere near to them."
Watch the full interview on Soccer Saturday
Watch Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports for the full Frank Lampard interview, including a look back at some of the biggest moments of his career on and off the field.
Then switch over to Sky Sports Premier League for 5pm for Man City vs Chelsea (kick-off 5.30pm). In-game clips will be available with match highlights shortly after full time on the Sky Sports website and app.