Lampard's firm rule is recipe for good run

LONDON • Despite being tipped to struggle in his debut season in charge of Chelsea, mainly owing to the club's two-window transfer ban, Frank Lampard has performed beyond all expectations.

The Blues are riding a six-game winning streak, propelling them to third in the English Premier League, behind Leicester only on goal difference.

While many pundits have credited their hot form to their raft of youth team graduates stepping up and proving their quality in the top flight, the manager's role also cannot be underestimated.

Although the former Chelsea great has installed an attacking ethos that is pleasing to the eye, he is also running a tight ship at Stamford Bridge.

Dressing room unrest hastened the exits of his predecessors, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, but under Lampard, the players know where to draw the line.

A social media post went viral earlier this week after an image was leaked, showing a range of hefty fines to be imposed for any breach of discipline.

The picture stated that a player is to be docked £20,000 (S$35,000) for being late for training, £2,500 for turning up late on match day, £5,000 for not attending corporate or community duties and £1,000 for letting their phones ring during meals and meetings, among other measures.

Players are also charged £500 for every minute they are late to team meetings, with the code of conduct signed off by the manager. The fines are doubled if not paid within two weeks, with all funds going to team activities and charitable bodies.

While Chelsea did not respond to various requests from the British media for comment, Lampard has hinted before that he is prepared to ruffle feathers in order to get the best out of his squad.

He told the Daily Mail last month: "I keep saying that it is just the start. The minute any standards drop or complacency kicks in, then they will all suffer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'Lampard's firm rule is recipe for good run'. Print Edition | Subscribe