October 17, 2021

‘Lampard knows £200m spend will dictate future’ – Chelsea boss backed by Hiddink to deliver on expectation

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The former Blues manager believes a man he worked with at Stamford Bridge is capable of proving himself in the most demanding of roles

Frank Lampard knows that a £200 million ($274m) spend at Chelsea will determine whether or not he remains at the helm, says Guus Hiddink, with the Blues boss in a results business that requires him to deliver on expectation.

A Blues legend was eased into life back at Stamford Bridge following his appointment as successor to Maurizio Sarri in the summer of 2019.

He was handed the reins with a transfer embargo in place, preventing him from bolstering the ranks in west London, and with faith having to be shown in home-grown stars.

Lampard guided Chelsea to a top-four finish and a place in the FA Cup final, with a promising debut campaign leading club owner Roman Abramovich to dust off the chequebook.

A collection of big-money signings have delivered a mixed bag in 2020-21, with value yet to be found in some, and Hiddink says the long-term future of a man in the dugout will be dictated by the success or failure of an elaborate spending spree.

The Dutchman, who has taken in two spells as Blues boss, told The Mirror: “When it comes to signing players, there are a number of people who are responsible. A coach, of course, is part of the process – but it is also about the policy of the club to decide what kind of players you want to attract.

“Many factors have to be considered before making a judgement. But the ultimate ­responsibility for results always lies with the coach – and Frank will understand that.”

Lampard has faced some uncomfortable questions this season, with a 17-game unbeaten run being followed by struggles for consistency that have dropped Chelsea out of the Premier League title picture.

Time is still on their side when it comes to trophy quests, with FA Cup and Champions League campaigns progressing positively, and Hiddink believes a club icon will prove capable of replicating the success he once enjoyed as a player.

“Frank is a very honest and direct person,” said Hiddink, who oversaw an FA Cup triumph in 2009.

“He was such a big player for Chelsea, but he will ­understand that what you did as a player counts for very little when you become a manager.

“When you suffer some losses, then it is natural to ­become worried. But I don’t see Frank ­panicking in this situation. He is a very stable person who believes totally in himself.

“He is also very honest and very direct. Every coach wants to be given time to put their ideas in place – and it is even more important when you are young.

“Frank has proved himself. He did a good job in his first appointment at Derby and in his first season at Chelsea he ­qualified for the Champions League.

“He is going through a difficult time at the moment, but this is when things have to remain stable.”