Frank Lampard has given his first interview since his 18 month tenure as Chelsea manager was ended.
Despite his legend status at Stamford Bridge, owner Roman Abramovich had seen enough and swung his axe in January, dismissing Lampard of his duties in place of former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel.
Now, for the first time since he was relieved of his role, Lampard has given his take on his time in the Chelsea hot seat.
Speaking in a Q&A ahead of the London Football Awards on April 29 in support of the Willow Foundation, Lampard said: “No matter how good you think you are or whatever circumstances you are in, [being sacked] can happen.
“It gives you a sense of perspective of what’s important. It came at a time where we were due a young son and it has given me a lot more time to be home so you count your blessings on that front.
“It has been great to be around the family. I have had some opportunities that have come up in the last six weeks to two months that have been flattering and nice but it wasn’t the right thing. It has certainly been nice to step out having been managing two and a half years full pelt.
Lampard discussed the multiple job offers that have come his way since his Blues departure when he said: “With the family situation, the opportunities were not quite right. I think about it and it would be something I am keen to do at the right time and the right place. As much as I am resting and recuperating away from the game, I am keeping an eye on it.
“I am looking forward to things that may come. I am watching football and trying to learn and get better. In this game, you never stop learning so I will try and find the right time and opportunity, if it comes and I am very keen to get working again.”
He did also confess to one of the worst kept secrets of the season surrounding Chelsea’s pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice while Lampard was in charge, stating: “Now you see him in the England squad and quickly you don’t see an England team without Declan in it.
“We are fortunate to have him in England, West Ham are fortunate to have him. He’s a leader and it is clear that he’s destined for great things. I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.
“It didn’t happen for various reasons, but we brought in a lot of players in the summer. But I was a big fan of him. For understandable reasons, West Ham know the player that they have on their hands.
The summer transfer window is just around the corner.
And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.
New Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will surely be looking to strengthen the squad he was given when he took over from Frank Lampard and there have already been a number of top players linked with a move, including Erling Haaland.
The striker is thought to be the Blues’ number on transfer priority.
But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.
“I don’t want Declan to be in an uncomfortable position through this because all I see from him is absolute performance and desire to play for West Ham. They gave him the chance there and the choice will be Declan’s as the years go ahead, but his performances are great to watch.”
Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic run of form since Lampard’s dismissal, with new boss Thomas Tuchel losing just once in 15 games in charge.
Tuchel has also helped lead the Blues to the Champions League quarter-final, where they currently boast a 2-0 aggregate lead over Porto ahead of the second leg at home next week.