“I understand the pressures of managing a club of the size that we manage and I respect him completely.” – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard claims to understand the pressures that face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United’s game against Chelsea on Saturday will see Solskjaer take on Lampard for the first time since he became Blues manager in the summer of 2019.
The aim for both of these managers is to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, but neither will be happy with their team’s inconsistent form at the beginning of the new league campaign.
Solskjaer has faced plenty of criticism and the board didn’t land his primary target in the transfer market, therefore, he has had to deal with speculation over his future. And not for the first time since he replaced Jose Mourinho in December 2018.
Lampard says he understands the pressure on his counterpart’s shoulders, saying (via Sky Sports): “I’ve got a good relationship with him. When we play against them we’re very cordial, shake hands and wish each other the best and I think we genuinely both mean it.
“I know Michael Carrick [United coach] very well from my playing days, so I have a really good relationship with him.
“Every Premier League manager will have their own issues, their own story, their own problems. So I don’t draw a line between me and Ole. He has his squad, I have mine.
“I understand the pressures of managing a club of the size that we manage and I respect him completely.”
Did Lampard replace Ronald Koeman at Barcelona and I missed it?
There are similarities with Solskjaer and Lampard both being former players of the teams they manage, but let’s not confuse the size of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Every manager is under pressure to get results. Lose games and you face the sack.
However, there’s a big difference when it comes to managing Manchester United and Chelsea.
Solskjaer, on top of that, has former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino lurking in the background but I hope the Norwegian gets us the results to keep him in the job.
But nobody understands the pressures of managing United like Ole. Not Frank.
Sure, Roman Abramovich as a club owner doesn’t think twice before pulling the plug when results aren’t going Chelsea’s way but that has been the approach at Stamford Bridge since Lampard’s playing days.
The standards and expectations at Manchester United are much greater.