After the United Kingdom government gave the Premier League a clearance to resume 2019-20 in June following the suspension of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said that nothing will change from the perspective of the players and the club.
Despite admitting that the empty stands might give the matches a different feel, Lampard said that everything else would remain the same as a win would still fetch a team three points and that was the most important thing.
“It’s certainly proper football. There are clear things that are going to be affected, you may not get to the level of what we get with crowds because that’s why the Premier League is for me the best in the world, because our home fans drive us on and that’s why home advantage is so important but when you go away, that hostility and tribalism sometimes drives you on as well. It’s a beautiful thing,” Lampard was quoted as saying on the official website of Chelsea.
“Of course it’s football [the behind-closed-door games]. There will be things that are different and I’ll have to speak to the players about that but when there’s three points and when you’re playing for your team and you want to get somewhere in the league, then of course the focus is there,” he added.
Lampard also spoke about how the lockdown has affected the footballers’ mental health and how difficult it would be for them to return to the field. He believed that in current times mental health is given greater priority and it has helped the players and managers.
“Without a doubt and obviously in a very good way. It might have been the culture at the time but that doesn’t make it right or mean that players were taking it in the right way. A lot of players will have suffered with that stuff, we’ve heard recently people like Luke Chadwick talking, many a sportsperson will have their moments where they say that, so I think we’re opening our eyes to all of that, particularly in the role I have now where I’m working with players and there’s such a spectrum of players – younger players, older players in different situations, you have to be very open and supportive,” the former England international explained.
“Sometimes it’s communication but sometimes it’s just giving the players the feeling they can come to me if they want to.”