Frank Lampard’s feisty confrontation with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and his staff proved he has what it takes to become the best English coach of his era. That is the bold claim from former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore.
On Wednesday, Chelsea arrived at Anfield hoping to put a dampener on the Premier League title celebrations and secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
But the champions were on their game and went ahead through Naby Keita and in the 38th minute they were awarded a free-kick outside the box after Mateo Kovacic was adjudged to have fouled Sadio Mane.
Lampard was incensed by the decision and was caught by Sky Sports’ cameras having to be separated from Jurgen Klopp by the fourth official.
Then to compound matters, Trent Alexander-Arnold stepped up and curled a stunning free-kick past a motionless Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
After the match, Lampard said some of Klopp’s staff were arrogant and behind the scenes footage later showed assistant coach Pep Lijnders was the individual that had angered him.
Lampard was heard saying: “If he’s going off at me I’ll f****** say something. It’s not a f****** foul, I’m not asking you. You can f*** off and all. You think you can give it the big one, f*** off.”
Lampard has since said he has regrets about the incident but Collymore believes it showed his winners mentality and combativeness.
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“Chelsea are bang on track and it’s just a matter of time before the Blues boss makes them a firm fixture at the top,” Collymore told the Daily Mirror.
“Why do I say that? Well, what happened at Anfield in midweek has convinced me more than ever that he is the brightest English coach to emerge for a generation.
“Going head-to-head with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp isn’t for the faint-hearted, but when the sparks flew and Chelsea’s boss let rip with his four-letter rant a smile crossed my face.
“He was annoyed. Everyone had turned up to celebrate a title party. He hadn’t.
“His body language screamed: ‘I’m p****d off, I don’t want to be among this. It’s rubbing our noses in it. I’ve told my players to remember this and take it back the next time we face this lot at Stamford Bridge.’
“That is why Lampard will be a success.
“Whether that’s at Chelsea, or maybe he comes back for a second stint, he will be a winner at the club.
“In five years’ time – and it has taken Klopp that long, remember – I would not be surprised if we are talking about Lampard’s squad like we talk about the German’s.”
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