Frank Lampard has revealed he turned to Steven Gerrard for advice when he became Everton manager and was spurred on by “professional jealousy” to compete with him in their playing days.
Former England team-mates and rivals when they played for Chelsea and Liverpool, Lampard and Gerrard meet for the first time as managers when Everton travel to Aston Villa on Saturday.
Lampard consulted with Gerrard about Nathan Patterson, the right-back who played for the Liverpudlian at Rangers, as he reflected on how they had become closer over the years.
The 44-year-old, who became Chelsea’s record goalscorer, was motivated to see Gerrard score for Liverpool and wished England coaches had found ways to place them in a central midfield trio.
“I’ve always thought so because in tournament football in particular we were outnumbered in midfield,” said Lampard, reflecting on England’s ‘golden generation’ never reaching a semi-final. “You always have to take responsibility for yourself first so I don’t speak for Stevie but when you’re outnumbered at a high level in things like the World Cup then it’s difficult to control games. I think that was just part of the puzzle.”
The accusation was that Lampard and Gerrard could not play together but both sat on the same expert panels when discussing a move to management.
And Lampard added: “As we matured a little bit, we got a little bit closer like you, and then we both worked in the media and around and we spent a little bit of time together. [In 2018]we both worked together on the World Cup and Champions League finals and I was about to go to the derby and he was there too and we talked about it.
“We texted each other and met a few times and chatted about the job. I spoke to him about coming here and the experience of working with Nathan Patterson because I wanted to hear his thoughts on Pats. I respect Stevie’s word for what he thinks about football and in general.”
Jose Mourinho attempted to pair them at Chelsea, bidding for Gerrard in 2004 and 2005 when his plan appeared to be to place them in midfield with Claude Makelele.
“Would have been good, right?” Lampard said. “I think it worked out well for me and Stevie in our own way. At the end of our career we were pretty much one club and I think that was the right story. It could have been good in another world.”
Lampard scored 211 goals for Chelsea and Gerrard 186 for Liverpool as both became Champions League captains and the current Everton manager was spurred on by the exploits of his Villa counterpart.
“Maybe a little bit competitive, and it wasn’t just Stevie and I, I was competitive as a player,” he explained. “Whenever other midfielders scored goals, my eyes would shoot up, I was a bit like that. Growing up I think it was called professional jealousy. That’s what my father called it.
“It’s not a bad thing when honed in the right direction. But that’s in your younger years. I think as you get older you just respect a player who is at Steven’s level. He was just an incredibly high level player.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/aston-villa-everton-frank-lampard-steven-gerrard-b2144008.html Aston Villa vs Everton: Frank Lampard reveals ‘professional jealousy’ with Steven Gerrard