Frank Lampard Finally Speaks Out About What REALLY Happened At Chelsea | E264 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Frank Lampard Finally Speaks Out About What REALLY Happened At Chelsea | E264".


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Intro (00:00)

When you get that call, had you known the context, the behind the scenes, that unhealthy culture, honestly, do you think you would have made a different decision? I think I can say this. Frank Lampard! Lampard has found an egg! Premier League icon Chelsea Legends! I read that your dad was the biggest influence on your career, and then I read a separate quote saying that sometimes I hated him. You know, my dad was tough man, pushed me very hard on the football front, and it got probably a bit too much. The fear of failure was a huge drive-in force, that made me what I was and gave me the career I got in the end. Chelsea fans will be listening to this because they want to get your opinion on what's just happened, because since you've left, we've not really heard from you. I came back here because this was an opportunity to come to Chelsea, I'm quite close to my heart, but I could see in training the level wasn't enough. The size of the squad with players that will test you and question you, questioning you. And then Chelsea spends more money than anyone's ever spent in a window. It seemed like else. I could see that the players were ready for the season to finish, but low standards are a symptom of something further upstream that's happened. We didn't get the results or wanted. And I know a lot of the reasons why. Like what? So, one moment of kind in your life that really tested you at a much deeper level, the passing of your mother, and while you were playing at the very, very highest level. I was a mummies boy. I lost the closest person to me, you know, everything to me, the emotional support. I want to say something more, you know, I couldn't. What would you want to say? Frank is a legend. There's absolutely no denying that. But so much has happened in recent times in his life as a manager, that unanswered questions remain. And I wanted to have a conversation with Frank, an honest open conversation to see if we could get to the bottom of some of those unanswered questions. What was happening behind the scenes? How did it actually feel for Frank? Is anyone to blame? What does Frank want to do next? In how? And what caused Frank to be the man that he is? And that's maybe the most fascinating question of all. Because there's some things that Frank has just never talked about before. But he's made the decision to talk about them today. And if you have unanswered questions, I don't think you will at the end of this episode. Frank, how are you doing?

Personal And Professional Journey As A Manager

How are you doing? (02:34)

Really well, thank you. There's always a short and long answer to that, isn't there? I was waiting for your second read. What's the long version of that? No, I'm doing really well. I'm currently on a break, I suppose, from working. Which is a pleasure in ways, because obviously the work of the manager, I was going to say Premier League manager, but any manager in football is intense. So at the moment I'm on a break, it's a holiday time for me a little bit. Family time. And probably when I'm out of work, I learned this when I left Chelsea, actually. I had a year out after that, and I really learned to try to improve my appreciation of when you're out of work. You're fortunate enough to be able to be out of work, wherever that circumstances. But try and enjoy your family and be very, very present. So at the minute I'm pretty present at home, which is a good thing, hopefully for my children and wife. I'm in a pretty good place. I remember my brain would often drift off when I had my time out of work. And I would think about things professionally, so I'd think about things that I could be doing, or you'd think back to the past. When you're having those moments where your kids are running around and you have a moment where your brain drifts off to work, what are the subjects that your brain starts thinking about professionally? You think a lot in management about people. So if I reflect on situations like leaving Chelsea or leaving Everton and those things, there are a lot of things that are out of your control. You get to a point where you can get probably 70% of them and lock them away and kind of go, "I'm right with that." You know, results you can't control, but 70% you kind of, "You're okay with..." And it's 30% that you kind of niggles at you. That's how I am. And a lot of those things when you become manager may be sort of like people things. I think there's tactics and all these things are huge in a modern game. I'm certainly a coach. I'm not a manager. But when it comes to managing 25, 30 players managing and building because you are the figure head of a building when you're the head coach or manager, I think sometimes when you're reflecting, you can reflect on things that I had that. Was that interaction right? Would I have dealt with that right? Could I dealt with it differently? And hindsight is like the best, best thing. You know, it's so simple to sit there behind sight and think, "You know, I should have done that." So I suppose I had moments where I go with things like that, but they're all with a yearning to sort of be a bit better or learn that you might have done something wrong. Or actually you come to conclusion, "Oh, maybe did it right." So, you know, I dip in and out of that stuff. And that probably is, you know, as I say, I wouldn't say I'm the only one, but I certainly am someone that is, you know, I can never control one of those moments come. I can be now pushing the swing, you know, when we're getting in the front, my mind goes back to something or things ahead to something. You know, that probably means that I'm absolutely invested in what I do. Yeah, I can relate to all of that. I think anybody can. And I also really like your analogy of once you get to like 50, 70% peace with something, it's kind of resolved as much as you know. And then there's other things which feel kind of unresolved, I guess. Or there's more wisdom to garner from those experiences. Well, I think if you don't get to peace with a 70%, I think you can get yourself in a bit of a mess. You know, I think you can go over everything and correct yourself and then what is the answer going forward? I think kind of understanding what you are and then go, no, no, that was fine. Whatever the result for a win or for a loss, I've had games as a coach and as a player where I've won a game and I know I got something wrong in the game, but you take the plot itself to us, but inside I know I've got it wrong. I've had games that we've lost and you get criticism from the outside and I know my prep was right, you know, in my head. So I think those sort of things you can kind of stack up and go, you know, well, that's fine. But then there's always the 30% and will always strive for it. And it might be less. I don't know if 30% sounds a big number when I say it. Sometimes I think it's 10% to try and make you as good as you can be. So I kind of go over that stuff because when you're out of work, when you're not working and you don't know in football, you don't know what your next gig is, you know, it's very hard to jump too far into the future because everything looks different there. So how can you stack yourself up as good as you can now? I want to get into all of that, but I want to take a step back because I think I feel like there's more I need to understand about who you are as a person and your characters and your character and really the, the, the, like the foundations you're built upon to understand all of these things, the things we're going to talk about.

What shaped you? (06:36)

So what do I, what do I need to know about Frank Lampard in terms of the influences and the experiences that shaped your character, the character of the man that sat in front of me? Because, you know, I've spoken to a lot of people about you in preparation of this conversation. No, but they all, they all seem to sing from the exact same hymn sheet. They will say everyone says you're just a wonderful man, like a really good, solid gentleman. And it's, people don't know this, but we weren't meant to have this conversation before. Yeah. But you've just been a total class act in even not being able to come last time because of, you know, reasons outside of your control. The way you conduct yourself, you just conduct yourself as a real gentleman. And then in terms of your mentality, when I was reading through your early years, it's clear that there was this real obsession to be better. I mean, Harry said, Harry Redknap said that you were the hardest training, hardest working person he's ever worked with when you're a young man. Tell me, what do I, why is Frank Lampod the way he is? I grew up in, in romford, in Essex. So, I would call it probably a middle class upbringing in terms of my dad had been a professional footballer. And so I went through a pretty comfortable upbringing where I was down to scoby day, aspiring to do pretty well at school, training pretty much every day and playing at the weekends. After school, we were going train Tottenham and Arsenal in West time. At one point, I was training all three. You could in those days. Now it's different. I was playing cricket. I was playing for Essex as a child. So that was on Monday night having nets at Chelmsford. And then on Sunday, I went to school because I was going to school on Saturday. So I was devastated with it at the time as a real were. But that was how the school worked. And on Sundays, I played. So my mum always was so busy, but it was content, very content. In terms of relationship of my family, I had a dad who was pushing me very hard on the football front. Very, very hard. It was quite a hard taskmaster. What does that mean in reality? That means that probably when I was probably stuck kicking a ball when I was up for, or maybe it seems like a walk. But you know, I remember in my early days, it would be four or five. And then, so that was me in terms of I loved the football. But probably by the time I was eight or nine, I was probably getting coached or pushed in what a 15 or 16 year old might be when they're sort of going into an academy at Westam. So where I ended up, as in work on your weaknesses, go over the park. You need to have more stamina. Your left foot's not good enough. Your agility's not good enough. So I was like, used to put down the Christians in the front room and had me doing reaction for our ball against the warm reacts and jump. I'm a kid. I loved it. Don't get me wrong. But there were times when I didn't love it. And it got probably a bit too much. I'm not going to cry about it because it made me what I was and gave me the career I got in the end. And then on the other flip of that, so I had that pushy kind of thing. And so after a game on a Sunday, we would lose and I would get, he would give me some criticism on the way home and I would be a bit emotional. And fortunately to me, when I think about sort of fate and how things work together to maybe get you to where you end up being, my mother was the flip, the emotional support, the arm around you, the quiet word. I was a mummies boy. And that was completely my upbringing. So, as I say, it was pretty comfortable. And in the end, it led to me leaving school with my GCSEs, getting decent grades, and then going to sign on as a white team. It was a white team at the time, an apprentice at West Ham. I read that quote about your father. I think it was in the independent that your dad was the biggest influence on your career. And then I read a separate quote saying that, "I have an awful lot to thank him for, but sometimes I hated him." Yeah. I stick by that quiet. I think you'll probably find it a lot in stories similar to mine. And in the modern day, I think it's changed because I think parents now, the thing with my story then in a different era was it felt pretty organic. My dad had played. He saw probably a bit Italian in me and pushed and drove in an old school where I want you to be a player son, you know, and it was like, I think he found a new sense of pride in pushing me there. Now I think some parents get excited about the bright lights that may be, and they push their children. And I think that's another story, but I think mine was real. My dad was a tough man. He's a tough man. And he pushed me. And I remember being out of a park and it was raining. It was crossing balls from me to head. Headings never been a strength of mine. Then and now. So it never had throughout my career. And I couldn't connect. I was missing them. And he was shouting at me. And I remember stomping off and being emotional about it. And those things stick in my head. And again, they were the building blocks of myself as a person. So, you know, this isn't a sob story. It's just a reality of what I went through. As I said, I had a lot of other comforts. So, you know, other people don't have it as good. And it was without that, who knows, in a football sense, if I would have got to where I got.

How did that shape your relationship with work? (11:44)

And how does that, what relationship does that make you have with your work and progress and self improvement at that very young age? Because you sign at West Ham when you're what, 14 years old, ish? 15, maybe. Yeah, 15. And I mean, as I said, I read that Harry Redknap quote that you outworked everybody else. Yeah. What is your relationship with your work from that very young age? Well, I'm sort of really interested in this kind of nature, virtuous, nurture thing. What was in me already was ingrained in me maybe to be this kind of very work ethicy kind of person. I think I had, you know, physical capacity. I was a chubby kid, to be fair. I was quite chubby. I do cheeks, curtains, as you had in those days. And I remember like, I know I needed to get fitter and get stronger. So, and then being pushed by my dad particularly and encouraged by my mum probably gave me this real desire to understand that if you don't work, you're not going to get there. And that, you know, that's what I would try and pass on to my children now. But it really stuck and it became me. So, by the time I've been, you know, 16, as I remember it, probably been at West End my early years, I'd probably been forced into a bit by my dad, but I took it on board. So, you know, I wanted to get faster. So he put me in running spikes and I had to run after training, go and run over the back. And I used to hide my spikes, go out the back. So I didn't want the other players to see me because I felt embarrassed. I'd go in on days off. I would practice extra shooting. I would do everything I could to improve. And it probably was looking back a desire to be the best and I was never the best. I was probably like the second or third best kid in pretty much every team that I played in, in whatever I did cricket or football. But I had a real desire to and I also had a fear of failure. And as much as that doesn't sound like a nice driving force, it can be a really strong driving force, I think. Where did that fear or failure come from? I don't know. I don't know. I think it's in my make up maybe. I don't know. It's probably just how I am. I probably have it still these days. I think it can be really positive. It was in my football career. And it carried on throughout, probably still in my management career. It can probably be the flip of that in my life because if I fear of failing something, I won't approach it. And that's me. I don't want that. My wife will always, Christine, jokes with me when we go on holiday and you want to paddle board or something. I'm not going near that because I know I'm going to fall off a lot. And so she will laugh at me. I'm like, you paddle board. I'll lay on the beach or I'll lay on the lyla or something like that. I actually used a paddle board as a lyla. That's the joke. But in the biggest sense in my life, that fear of failure is, it can probably maybe make me not try things that I should do. But in terms of my footballing career, the fear of failure was a huge driving force. And I don't think it's a bad thing because I think there's a certain humility to it. And my mum would certainly have been a driver of me as a young person to stay humble. Stay humble. Never get too high. Stay there. And you'll be fine in your own head. So I think I had a real understanding of my weaknesses. And I thought, well, if I can work on these constantly, and then I started to see results really step by step. Sometimes you go back, you go forward a few. But I can certainly start looking back at my career from start to finish. I didn't leave anything on the table in terms of work ethic and training. I don't want to sound like an absolute machine. There'll be days when you get older, where you come off it a bit, or you start to find life-affection different ways. But when I look at my peers in football, I certainly had a training ethic that at least right at the top, where others can say the same maybe. But I felt that. I mean, that's the Harry Redknap quote. He says that during his career, he never met anyone that trained as hard as Frank. He would be out there on a winter's day, practicing, shooting for hours, left foot, right foot, etc. That fear of failure, though. I can see how it becomes a driving force and makes you stay out there on a winter's day, left foot, right foot, and leaving no stone unturned.

Fear of failure (15:38)

But with all these things, there comes a cost on the other side of the coin, right? I mean, you talked about the paddleboard thing, which is that like, kind of, if I don't do it, then I won't fail. But one of the things that I was assuming is it would also make you quite a chronic over thinker. Because I think people that have that fear of failure, they try and think their way through a situation before it happens. Yeah. Typically, what is the cost of having that fear of failure? Well, the other thinking thing is maybe a cost, and I think that can be a positive, too. But I think it can be quite taxing on yourself, you know, for anyone who thinks like that. And, you know, sometimes I would, I've tried to make myself, you know, not another thinker. However you do that, I don't know, because I've not found a solution to that one, because I think that's when you are that it's in you. So probably the negative or downsides have been probably a bit taxing on myself, but I think you learned to live with that, too. And I think you understand it. I think it's something that I'll never master, and it can probably cause you into over-complicating situations like you're saying about, I don't want to get into that. But if you do get into something and you really have to get into something, I now try and step back and simplify it. And so stop overthinking it, simplify it, because for me, anything in life, if you can simplify the basics, you probably get quicker to the solution. So that one's just a struggle that I'll put up with. But as I say, I think it's just part of my makeup. If I wasn't an overthinker, if I didn't have that sort of obsessive, sort of perfectionist training drive, I wouldn't have got to where I got to, because I was not Lionel Messi, who has this God-given talent that's there. Wherever my talent was on the spectrum, I needed to push it, and I constantly tried to. How do you enjoy the process if you're overthinking? I weirdly like, I've really grown to like the stress of what it brings, and that's, you might start thinking I'm a strange person, I don't know, but I loved stressful training. To put it on a physical side, for instance, I loved that feeling of almost feeling sick on a pre-season run, or really intense training sessions. I really enjoyed that. Maybe not always in the moment, when you get to the end of it and you go, "I got through that and it was so intense and hard." And maybe in life sometimes I set myself challenges, and maybe I make it more complicated than I should, but I don't mind that stuff. And that's probably when I started off talking about that, "Relax when you're with your children." I think I'm still juggling that one. And I think probably a lot of people are. I don't know. I think being overthink is not something unique to me. It's completely everywhere. But I don't know what else to say unless I am. That enjoying the pain, like the pre-season run, if you feel sick, then you feel good about yourself. Yeah. Why? I don't know. I mean, I went to the gym this morning, and I really didn't want to go, and I bought the dog, and the time limits get in shorter. I'm going to go in. I don't want to go in, because I know the buzz that I'll get off afterwards. And that's kind of my drug. And it always has been. And it probably starts from all those early days of, "You must work hard. You must push yourself. You must be as fit as you can be." And it probably just stuck. And it's probably a bit of a life for me. But I do, thankfully. I enjoy the stress of hard work and physical, but less now finish. Now it's more to not get too unhealthy and unfit, whereas when I was training and playing, even when I finished playing for a couple of years, if I went for a 5K, I need to beat my 5K PB. I have to try and beat it. Now when I do a 5K, I'm just going to complete it. I'm completing it in 20 or 30 seconds less. So I've dropped that one slightly, and maybe I'll transfer it into other parts of my life, I guess. Quick one, before we get back to this episode. Just give me 30 seconds of your time. Two things I wanted to say. The first thing is a huge thank you for listening and tuning into the show week after week. It means the world to all of us. And this really is a dream that we absolutely never had and couldn't have imagined getting to this place. But secondly, it's a dream where we feel like we're only just getting started. And if you enjoy what we do here, please join the 24% of people who watch this channel regularly and have hit their subscribe button. It means more than I can say. And if you hit that subscribe button, here's a promise I'm going to make to you. I'm going to do everything in my power to make this show as good as I can now and into the future. We're going to deliver the guests that you want me to speak to, and we're going to continue to keep doing all of the things you love about this show. Thank you. Thank you so much. Back to the episode.

The decision to stay in football (20:11)

When you finished your football in Korea, there's many options you had. Punditry. I mean, I'm just talking about the typical paths, that football is sometimes they just go into business. A few of them go into coaching and stay in football, but you made the decision to stay in football. Why? And was there anything else that was tempting you? Well, I did Punditry for a year, so I spent a year working mainly on BT and doing some different things. BBC, I did a few bits and I really enjoyed it. It was great. I was working a lot with Ralph Ferdinand, Stephen Gerard, Jake Humphrey, who had him recently, and just really good people. And it was like a step in the game and a step of retire so I can do other stuff. The life of a Pundit is much easier than a manager. We all know that. So I kind of put my eggs in both baskets at that point. I did that and I did my coaching badges. And I wanted to kind of see how I felt a little bit. And I didn't want to be a manager in my 20s. When I got to my 30s, I was like, "That's interesting. People manage this." And I just thought about myself and my 20s more. And then when I finished, I did my coaching badges. I started to quite like it. And then I got an offer out of the blue to go and manage Darby. Darby Kouncy, the owner, Mel Morris, kind of went out in a bit of a limb. He was speaking to Harry Redknap, who's my uncle. Harry said, "Do you speak to Frank? We sat for two hours in Chelsea in a hotel and he offered me the job." And it was like, Kristen has a sound and it's like jump and the net will appear. And we sat in my front room and I was like, "I'll do my coaching badges, but this is a proper job." I go, "It's a Darby. They've got some problems and it's going to be a difficult job." Or whatever, as all jobs are. And I jumped. Why? That inner probably drive that I have in a desire. It wasn't something that I am an over thinker. So that probably made that process of those couple of days where I had to make a decision really intense. But at the same time, I like a challenge. I love a challenge. And as much as I enjoy punditry, it's challenging. You want to do it well. You want to do it like the top boys do it. You have to put everything into it and do it really well. But I wanted more. I wanted to get on the grass. I wanted to work with players. I wanted to try and improve players. I wanted to see if I could do it. It's probably more. If I'm honest, probably can I do it? And can I do something? And I was probably naive at the time because the minute I walked into Darby, I was like, "Wow, this is different. I'm holding the meeting rather than one of the 25 players sitting listening." And as much as you can think, "Oh, yeah, I'll do that." The minute you walk in and you see those 25 faces, and then you walk to say, "Hello, it's a Jeanette who's your secretary and this one." And the player liaison, I'm like, "Oh shit, have I got to manage all this as well?" And you do. You have to sort of, you know, the building is yours to kind of set the tone. So that first year, some of it was good. You know what? I think sometimes in management, a great manager said to me, "It is." And he was old. He was old. And he said to me, "I think I was a better manager when I was young in many, many ways." He said, "Because as I got older, I started to really sort of overthink things and become a little bit more cynical. And you know, you kind of go over these things. When I was young, I just make decisions and I was kind of free to do it." Now, I think there's a balance to that. Experience is obviously clear and clearly help as you go along. You learn from mistakes. But I understood his point when he said that because I wanted to Darby fresh. And I made a lot of mistakes because you always will. But I also had a freshness and a bounce and a feeling inside me that was kind of like, "I want to take this on." And even though the moments of fear, you know, that kind of, when you feel like a bit of imposter syndrome, "Should I be doing this?" And you got to hide it. Like, I remember having a whistle for the first day in front of the training pitch guy. I'm going to blow this at the end of training. And I've been used to hearing about the coach. This sounds so stupid. I've been used to hearing coaches go, "End of the session. Stop." I was like, "What kind of whistle?" I didn't want to do like a little... I don't remember again. You know what? So let alone, like, I've got a pick and team and set the tactics and set the tone. And I've got all those little things. And I think every... If they're honest, I think, you know, people in business yourself, I've all had those most simple things where you're sitting there going, "Wow, that little basic thing that I think consider is now in my head." So I had a lot of those. And it was, you know, we got to the playoff final, we got to Wembley, we lost a final against Aston Villa to get to the Premier League. And I was so disappointed for the club at Darby and the owner had given me, you know, put everything into me. And we had a really good year and got there and we lost it. But in terms of that first year of management, yeah, my drive took me into it. And it was just a huge learning curve and it was a really enjoyable year.

Imposter syndrom (24:34)

Imposter syndrome, that's somewhat linked to, I guess, your fear of failure. We talk a lot about imposter syndrome on this podcast because it's a double-sided thing. On one hand, you have that feeling of... Which I can recall when I became a dragon on Jack and Sten, and I'm sat next to Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden. Peter Jones has been there for 21 seasons since the beginning. Deborah Meaden has been there for 17 and I feel like I've just walked into the TV. Like your little whistle thing was me like, "How do I say I'm out?" Exactly, you know. But being at peace with that, like, how have you dealt with that in your career? Because you went from being a pundit to managing a club that was trying to get promotion to then Chelsea. These are huge leaps forward. Yeah. Huge leaps forward. I think I probably managed to get coping mechanisms along the way that have put that to the side. And in simple sense, I've become much more confident in myself. Away from work, actually, at home, much more content in myself. Again, it probably comes back to being really settled in relationship. I am 45 now, just turned. But in the workplace as well, that first year I remember feeling it a lot. It gives the Chelsea. It should be a huge jump to the Champions League club. Even though I knew the club very well, it was a huge jump to deal with players of a different stature, etc. But I found that in Postra Syndrome thing much less. And I had just had coping mechanisms where I could kind of just go, "Okay, you're nervous taking this meeting because you're a bit out of your comfort zone. You've got to be critical of a player. So you're going to go in on someone. You're going to show a video of the game the other day." And it's like, "That's not a comfortable thing to do always." I just probably have found mechanisms to be able to go right. You almost go into the character. I'm not going to sound like an actor too much, but you go, "No, I'm just going to go into it." And the more I think you do that, the better you can be at coping with that thing. And then you just kind of also have to get a realization that you can feel a bit like that. You can feel a little bit like, "I'm out of my comfort zone. You can make mistakes." I think showing that you can make a mistake in front of a group of players is not the worst thing. They're there to, players will get it. You make the smallest mistake. One of those 25 at least is going to go, "Well, that when he said that, you know, but I think you've got to come to peace with that." And you can even joke about that after the event because you'll keep making them. So I've probably come to terms with being able to deal with that side of it.

How hard is it to be yourself as a coach vs copying successful coaches? (26:53)

I was thinking then as you're speaking actually about my experience being a dragon. And one of the things I've always wondered about players, when they go from being a player to a manager, and especially when they've been managed under a legend of a manager. Like I was thinking about Oli GonnaSocher and Alex Ferguson. How hard is it to be yourself versus be the successful manager that you saw win? Because even when I became a dragon, I think for the first two years for sure, I was trying to be a dragon, not being Steve. Yeah. And that's a journey. But do you understand the question? I completely get it. I get asked a lot. And I'm not in exactly the way you get asked, but I get asked it by football journalists and say, "So what did you take out of all your managers you play?" and all this stuff. And just to jump to one would be Jose Mourinho. It's a good one to jump to because he had a huge effect on my career, as many did. But he came and probably elevated me in my playing career to a different level. And what I learned from Jose, and as I then went on to manage after that, was the thing that impressed me about Jose, there was a real authentic nature to him. Like when he was self-confident, overconfident, kind of brash, Jose, that's him. That was him. And maybe he's playing up a bit now and again, but I saw him behind the scenes. And then when I've worked with other managers that maybe were probably striving to be something like that, and I think after Jose that there were a generation of managers that were a bit like, "I'm going to wear this scarf and I'm going to tie it on." Or act a bit, kind of say those things he used to say, or does say. And I didn't buy it as such. And even from outside when you watch him manage, you have that impression. So I think probably you go, "Can I take things from all these managers for my journalist question?" Yeah, I did from Sam and not from others. Blah, blah, blah. But when you come to it, you have to be yourself because you get found out. And you're probably right in my early days. I also did that. I did my first meet in a derby again, was like, "Right, I'm an ex player, so anyone who wants to knock on my door, come and see me and I'll tell you the truth and we'll have it out or I'll give you the answer that you want." And I remember the first three weeks, they kept knocking on the door. I was like, "Hello, I had to do another meeting. So, lads." If you're going to knock on my door, come to me with facts of why you should play. It has your training. Come with something. I didn't play on Saturday or Monday morning. There's five on the door knocking. And open policy in a door is good. But at the same time, it was like those were like learning curves for me. I probably said that phrase because I needed to say it. Right, yeah. You know what I mean? Because it's a really cool thing to play. I want the manager to be able to speak to me all the time. And when I said it, I was like, "Sam, what I thought I should say?" And then you learn a little lesson. My door hopefully is still open now. But at the same time, I was probably playing the part of a manager. And then you kind of go, "What's real to me here?" Do I have to say that? Is it another way of saying it or whatever? And that kind of brings me to a question which is, wouldn't it therefore have been great for you to go and learn those lessons when the stakes weren't so high?

Do you think you jumped into high manager roles too soon? (29:43)

Because even the stakes are super high at Derby because you're figuring out Frank the manager there. And sometimes you don't want to be at the poker table playing with real money. Yeah, but that's my life. I know what you're saying. And I think as an English ex-player, Stephen Gerard, others that have played at a high level, you know, play a hundred times in our country, etc. I think the culture in this country is the sort of state. Now you're a manager. Go and earn your stripes there because being a player of that level doesn't mean you're going to be a manager. So I think that could have been a route where you can kind of get a lot of fair play. He went down to Division II and he's showing what he's doing and there's a process. The reality is that part wasn't for me. Mel Morris asked me to do the Derby job. It was a question. "Yeah, challenge. Yes, please. I'll take the challenge." When I had won you there and Chelsea came to me, it was a difficult time. I had a transfer ban. Ed and Hazard was leaving. It was a real transition. Young players was going to be there next year. I think probably some big managers had turned it down. I know that. So it was like, "Yeah, what challenge? I'll take it." So I don't want to try and recreate the past. I think why didn't I do that? Because I've managed in four years of management. I've had some experience. You always get criticism. You leave Chelsea. People will criticize you. You go to Everton. You stay up. You get relegated. People will criticize you. But at the same time, I am resilient enough to deal with all that stuff now. Probably the beauty of having a long career in football. My thing is I can manage to be able to manage Chelsea and do it to a good level as well. I've had successes as well as when it hasn't gone so well. That's the modern day manager. I think I probably crammed in a lot of working four years and working at a high-end level with players that will test you and question you because Champions League players question you. So it's just my path. Champions League players questioning you. You don't ever assume that happens. I don't know a ton about what goes on in the foot in the room. I think when I say that, I think in the modern day player particularly, I think in previous series it probably would have been more vocal. But now the modern day player, they have a good understanding of the game. A lot of them have been coached in academies very, very well to a high level. When they get to the top, they also, when you are setting out tactics, they will have questions for you. And you have to buy into that because the reality is what you want is them to understand what you want or sometimes they say something and you go, "Okay, we might change that," or whatever it might be. And I think when you get to the top level in football, you have to understand that that's there. Now they have to understand you're the boss and you have to make it very clear. But at the same time there will be a lot of suppliers that would challenge you. What do you mean by that boss? But what about if that happens? You get a lot more of that. I remember reading Pep Guardiola once said that even if you don't know the answer, pretend that you know the answer. And so there is a version of that because when you get things thrown at you sometimes it's like football is an active game. And I think sometimes in the modern day we look at on Monday night football, you see after the event, there should have been this or people are imagining what Pep Guardiola or Jürgen Klopp or fantastic coaches are doing. And it must be this amazing, complicated thing. For sure, they are amazing coaches. But it's an active game. So if you can give a good message, then the rest is down to the players at the same time. So you just have to prep them as well as you can, but they will challenge you. That got me thinking about when I sat with Jamie Caragou and he was telling me about all the managers he had had above him when he was playing at Liverpool. And then hearing from all the United players, Nanny and Ever and Gary and Rio about what Sir Alex was like. And then reading through all of the managers that you've worked under, I mean there's so many of them from Joe Zade, Angelotti, so many of them. I mean there was one period where the managers were being sacked every six months, it feels like at Chelsea.

What do you think makes a great manager? (33:40)

And the thing I garnered from one of them is that there is actually not a successful blueprint to being a successful manager. There's not like a blueprint. There's not a way to be a successful manager. Some of them are tacticians, some of them are man managers. Is that accurate? It's very accurate. I agree with that. And Chelsea is a bit of a unique example because in my time there they change manager a lot as you say. And I don't think that's the most productive way to run a business in an ideal way in terms of football. Because in an ideal way you kind of go with trust in this manager, let's work with it. Here's the idea, we're going to go with it. And of course it's a prerogative of the honest to change that. What we did have at the time was a fantastic unit within the dressing room of high talent, high personality that led the dressing room. So we had a great team and a great squad. And when I say that we had a spine of players of John Terry, myself, Peter Chek, D'Ere, Drog, Rache Lee Cole. I could go on. And they were personalities. It was sometimes a clash. But we knew our place. We knew we could rely on him. I knew that I would run for him and he'd run for me. And we also had high talent applied that did a job but would score in every final pretty much. So I think we kind of like bridge that gap of changing managers. And so I think when you come back to the question of great managers, I think sometimes it's the case of compromising with what you're working with. You have to get the people skills right. And that's the first thing I learned as a manager for the difference in playing is that you have to deal with people. You've got to try and inspire every player within that group and inspire the collective. So every player will have a different motivation. It might be money for one. It might be I want to be the best striker in the world. It might be I want to be in front of him because I don't like him. Whatever that is, you try and tap into. And I think the greatest of managers, my opinion, and I played under, as you say, a lot. And I'm trying to be one is that they give you something that you believe in that you can strive for and you all buy into. And sometimes it's a messy process. You watch Man City lift that treble just now and you lift the Champions League. There will be so many things that we don't know behind the scenes. This player is unhappy, had to do this, all these things that come together and give you that amazing moment. And I had that as Chelsea as a player. And so to future say, go and tell me what are great managers and me to go. Here's an answer for you in one minute. It's like impossible to say. Man management. That's what all the United players said about Sir Alex. The only thing that they all are completely agree on. They would say he was the best man manager and an inconsistent leader, which is an interesting concept. And what I mean by inconsistent leader is he would treat Gary in a different way to Nanny, to Evra. And they all told me this stories and Rio as well told me about when Sir Alex brought that bottle of whiskey to his ill grandfather's side. And Rio doesn't know how he knew the favourite brand of whiskey and how he knew his grandad, Brazil. Gary told me he used to tap him on the shoulder and say, think about your grandfather's shrapnel, which is still in his shoulder when you go out there today. That kind of bespoke, tailored approach to leadership, which seems to be Sir Alex Ferguson's highest accolade. Sure. And I think that runs into the modern day that we get very caught up in tactics. And rightly so. The games moved on from those days tactically. But those people, and you'll know yourself, you know, inspiring people. And as you say, to be bespoke and kind of individualise it and look within the group and have moments. Because, you know, if you ask me about my career, you go like, Frank, what do you remember out of those 20 years? Like, do you remember the meeting where Jose played you a bit higher up? I wouldn't. You said, do you remember the time that Jose said those words to you that inspired you? And it could be like one sentence. I go, yeah, remember that. You know what I mean? That things that stick with me that I remember that made me go, I'm going to run for this man. He's going to make me better. You know, and I had that. And I think so. What you just said there about Sir Alex Ferguson, I think the great managers have you look at. And they have it in different styles, like Guardiola, yoga and Klopp. Everyone will have a different style of that. And that's a huge part to their success. I think.

What are you like as a manager? (37:31)

What do you like as a manager? If you have to do like a self assessment? I think you got somebody else. I don't know. I know I try and be close to the players, as I say, my open door thing. But at the same time, I think I try and find a balance. I think the important thing for me was when I became a manager was to not expect anybody, any player to see how I saw it. Or train how I trained or whatever, you know, for good or for bad. And you have to, that's I think a bit of a skill which, you know, Sir Alex probably had perfectly. So I try and be as close to the players. I try and learn all the time. I'm a coach. I want a coach on the pitch. I think my biggest pleasure is coaching and improving players. And particularly young players. And I've had the, you know, the fortune to work with some really good young players. At Derby, I had Mason Mount, Harry Wilson, Ficaya Tamori. And then Chelsea obviously tell me over how many extra ones and. Yeah, and Anthony Gordon, etc. So I think they are the real sponges that are a real pleasure to work with. And I love that part of it. Been able to speak to them. And you do find, and it's a reality. And I remember being an older player, a bit more cynical. When you're younger player, you're like, they're like a blank canvas. And you can, you know, push them and try and push them. And that. So I'm probably quite intense with the younger players. I try and be, as I say, inclusive and I'm always trying to learn. And I'm trying, just trying to be me. It's a hard answer that one. I think you'd have to ask, you know, maybe a member of staff or a player. I pick the right player because you probably get different answers because when you work with, I worked at Chelsea recently with 30 players. I pick, pick 11 for a game and like eight subs. And the subs, eight outfield subs, the subs don't really like you because they're not starting. Let it down the other 10. You know, so it's a really hard balance for the modern squad to get there. But you have to try and make it inclusive because if you're going to get anywhere, you've got to go all together. And that was one of the problems for being Chelsea this season. 30 players. It's not possible to manage that.

As a leader what are you working on? (39:25)

Well, on the other, this isn't maybe this is even more difficult question. What are you trying to work on then? What are the areas of, as a leader, as a manager you're trying to work on? Because I can think of for myself, I can think of a number of areas where I get, you know what, that is still somewhere where I have a recurring, when I reflect in hindsight, I go, fuck, I need to get better here. What is that for you? Quite a few things I would say because the overthinker thing comes in again and I'm a bit of a perfectionist. So, you know, I always want to try and improve, you know, my tactical and the personal touch and those things. But I think when I came away from Chelsea, I realized I needed to delegate time better. That was something I was certainly not great at. You have your staff for a reason. They're there to support you in a time that will be better than you at certain things. So give them it, you know, and give them that. You obviously oversee that thing and I probably spent a lot of time trying to be across everything, whereas really I probably could have come back from that and saved my own energy. So I think I'm certainly trying to improve that side. I did between Chelsea and Everton for sure to try and save that. I can be pretty overreactive sometimes if I see things I don't like in terms of, and when I start it, it's always effort or standards. And I think that's one of the things I'm biggest on, is that, you know, if you're going to make a mistake in a game, I've got no problem with that. If you are going to not run for your team mate, if you're not going to train through the week with an idea that when I train on Monday, that's got a direct relation to what Saturday is going to look like. If that feeling isn't there, then I probably can either get upset with a player or maybe kind of distance to player. And I think when you work in with a group, you have to be careful of that one because not every player has your mentality. So you have to either try and bring them up to the party, or if not, then they're going to have to not be there if you're going to have success as far as I see it. And that sounds really harsh, but it's one of those things where you go, if you can work in a team and you're going to take it to exactly where you want it to be. Out of that squad of 25, if you've got that kind of, I remember, like, manager would say this, you can have, you know, like, there's your six or seven. You know, we're going to get every day. We're going to train, they're going to come in, they're going to be so active every day. You're going to have the middle group or somewhere in the middle, you're going to have the ones that maybe, I'm just coming to training. You know, or, no, I'm a bit sore today. You know, that sounds simplistic to say it. But you have to try and work if you want to work in a four direction and go, okay, those six are with me, right? You try and garner them. Those are the ones that can kind of pass the message. Those ones in the middle, okay, can we keep pushing and working between me and the staff to try and improve them? And then the ones that are there, come on, can we help them? Can they come with us? If not, you have to speak to the club and that's where a club has to be aligned. Okay, if you want to go in that direction and we're with you, okay, we'll work that out. And that becomes a recruitment or players leaving the club. I mean, that's, you know, that's a reality that has to be. And that's the reality of business as well. I've just finished writing this book and it talks about these three lines and basically says if everybody, think about a person in your team, and if everybody in the team represented their cultural values, right, which is what you're talking about with your six disciples there. If everybody represented the cultural values with the bar, with the overall bar be raised or lowered. And you'll have some people who would imagine if everyone was like them, like a frank, you know, frank lampert or a drunk jury, how high that the cultural values would be raised. And then you have other people where if everyone was like them, you'd be relegated. Yeah. And what to do with those three cohorts of bar raises, maintainers and bar loras. And that's kind of what I... That's a good word, put in it. I mean, I think the bar raises can take some time to raise the bar. But the bar loras can get you very quickly. Yeah, yeah. That's kind of my experience because that kind of, when that kind of... Sister T or whatever it is, you know, like, why are we doing this training? Why do we have to do it? Or whatever, that kind of negativity which we can slip in can be really contagious. And in a winning sport, and as much as we're talking here about great managers, winning is everything, you know. And that's obviously relative to if you're a man's city or an Everton, like Everton will win kind of 35 foot per cent of games at best at the moment. And you know that. So you know that they're going to be 65 or 5 per cent of weeks, whereas not that great, the bar loras can go and they'll lower it quickly. Whereas, you know, if you can get the raises to take control, then I think generally you can kind of get there. So it's a really important thing. That's probably one of the interesting things that, as I say, the transition from player to manager trying to get that. Because whether you were one of the bar raises or you're in the middle group or the lager, when you become a manager, it doesn't matter what you were. You've got to kind of get that, get the scripts of what it is and kind of just push. So that's something that I think will... I'm trying to improve on everything all the time. And coming away sometimes gives you a nice time to have perspective and just kind of go, "I'm going to put it in line a little bit." And it looks a bit different to what I thought before that experience. I guess this is why some of the greatest managers of all time, they hold on to their Gary Neville's and their disciples. And I spoke to Gary about this. Gary said to me, in fact, when we're filming "Jag and Stone" recently, he said, "For those last two years, Sir Alex kept me there because of my impact on the dressing room."

Managers these days never seem to last very long… (44:20)

Not my impact on the pitch, but on the dressing room. I could keep the standard high. In the modern world, I was reading the stats, managers are getting fired quicker than ever. And it must be so difficult to establish authority when the players are aware that the manager's going to be the one to be taken out if things don't go well. In business, it's not like that as a CEO because I own the company and I am the manager. So if there's behavior underneath me that's toxic and contagious, I can act. The center of authority is with me. Whereas it seems like in a club, the center of authority is really like the chairman, the owner. Sometimes the manager manages to get there, but in the modern world, we don't let managers last long enough to build that authority. No. And that's the tough order that is. And I think you probably have to earn the riot as a manager to get to a club. Maybe when you look at the perfect models right at the top, you know, Manchester City is a good one to talk about. Now I work with the city group. I had one year playing there. And I could see when I was there, they hadn't arrived at that point, but I could see with the stability from above and how it ran in the vision. It was like they were going to get somewhere because they had a great structure. And it wasn't like it was going to get pulled and pushed and pulled for a small period of time as we were going to get there. And then they hired Pep. They had a not difficult first year, but the first year was kind of him finding his way. I need this, I need this. And then he's a fantastic coach and they have great players. But if you don't have that aligned thing where, as you said, the most important person at the club in the modern day, in my opinion, is the owner. And it is the structure at the top because they set the time. Maybe it's financially. Maybe it's with the sporting directors and recruitment because you will be as good as the players you recruit. A great manager, again, I don't want to say him, drop names. It said to me, it was when we finished it. My first year was at Everton, we just stayed up. Skinny Berthite. And he was like, "Rame me to say congratulations." He went, "Frank, don't rest. 80% of your work for next season will be done in the next month." So it was recruitment. So like 20% will be what you do next year and now the 80% is bringing the right players. So I think that alignment as a keeps saying there is something that if you can get an owner, there are great owners and great sporting directors and recruitment and the manager. And the manager is so critical to it. But when you look at last season, 13 managers left their club, I think it's 13, out of 20 clubs. And you're talking about, you know, Antonio Conteau, and you're talking about Thomas Tuko, you know, managers have huge successes. It shows you that the landscape has changed to the point where the manager will be culpable. And I think you have to be at peace with that. But you have to try and get to the point very quickly where you have success. And that's tough because winning is the modern world of social media and reaction is like, get them out, you know, get the next one in. You know, sometimes maybe they're right, maybe the manager is culpable. But other times there are many things. And to come back to your original point about players and those stalwarts and the Gary Neville's and the James Milner at Liverpool in the last whatever years, you know, people on the outside I think it's very easy to look at the superstars and most sellers. I can guarantee you, and I know this first happens speaking to people, people like James Milner and Jordan Henderson have absolutely set the tone of that club for the last whatever years during great success. And if you don't have that kind of those drivers within that top six or eight, I think it's very hard to sustain it, success or get success. And again, back to my Chelsea days, we had that naturally. And we were actually quite diverse. It was like John Terry was like the real captain, like heart and his sleeve, you could see it in every day. I was probably like more quiet, but like a trainer and standards and myself and trying to hope that that would bring people with us. Didier was this sort of charismatic from the Ivory Coast and kind of brought in, you know, that section of the dressing room and he took a peta cheque spoke five languages. Ashley Cole was such a nice lad and it's, you know, best left back the country probably ever seen. So we had this amazing group. And like if others aren't going to follow that, then very quickly it was like, you're not going to make it regardless of the manager change. It's like you want, you want survives addressing room. And that's kind of how it was. It reminded me of a quote that I've said on this podcast before, which is when the culture strong, the new people become the culture and when the culture is weak, the culture becomes the new people. Because when you have those, that core of disciples, someone coming in, they'll stand out so much. If they don't fit in with you, Didier, Frank, etc. That they'll instantly be expelled. But when the culture is weak, someone will come in and they'll actually influence the dynamics. And that's when you're really, from my experience in business, is when you're really, really screwed. No, that's interesting because I think in football as well, because it's so topical, there's so much conversation around it. I managed to chose for seven weeks, I think I did. And I spoke a lot about standards. And I was saying standards too much.

Experience At Chelsea

The standards at Chelsea just weren’t there (48:59)

That's what you say in every post-match. Yeah, I know. And it wasn't like trying to be clever and go, "This is my line now standards." But it was very evident to me when I walked in because having worked at Chelsea as a coach for an as a player, I do know the standards. I do know that. And this is not a direct criticism of the players either, because when I look at the player's situations where they were and I understood how it had been a long year, I walked in with 10 games to go. They've been there for the whole season, and a lot of players were not playing. They were probably going to leave, which we're seeing now. They were going to leave, the club wanted some leave a day or they hadn't been playing with the previous managers. And I could see in training that the level wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to go and get a result. You know, whoever you might want to say, at Brentford at home or at Letalamriam Madrid. It wasn't enough. And I can say this now because I said this to the players. And again, it's not an individual criticism of the players, because I also, when you're trying to say you want to be a manager, you have to have a personal understanding of like human nature. If I'm a player that's not been playing for the last seven months and I'm thinking I'm leaving in four weeks time, I'm probably going to struggle to motivate that player. I haven't got a magic wand to motivate that player. So I think it was probably my biggest learning out of Chelsea was when you talk about standards and culture. I think people got, he talks about standards. What he talks about is culture. And maybe I have to catch myself on, I'm not saying every interview, but at the same time, if you don't have a building block of standards, then that winning culture that everyone goes, what's winning culture? You go, well, let me, I'll try and explain it to you, but it has to start with a basic standard, which for me is always like trying to a level where you're going to push your teammate. He's going to push you. And then we're going to be as competitive as it can be. We don't have to win. Not every team can win. You know, this manages to see you pretty much win the league every year at the minute. So what's success for everybody else? For Brighton, it's coming six or whatever. For Newcastle, it's, wow, Champions League. That's huge success. So everyone has a version, but my guess is those teams that have over performed, outperformed. They've got something there which is a basic standard that they're just built on. And, you know, to be fair to Chelsea, they're in a position now where that needs to be worked on again. It's a transitional time. That brings me to the quote you said after your Newcastle game, which was, "The standards collectively have dropped. I can be honest now because it's your last game. I might not see them for some time anymore." But low standards are a symptom of something further upstream that's happened. And we saw this at Manchester United. I'm a big man United fan. I've seen a decade, five years of just like chaos where we've got these amazing players, but one plus one equals one point five. We call it Diseconomies of Scale. In great culture, one plus one equals three. You know, where you can make great average players to gather players and the football of their lives. The furthest upstream thing, where did the standards start to slip? What is the thing that happens in a club like Chelsea in your experience when you went back there that had caused that dropping of standards which we now saw on the pitch with your sort of ten games there? Well, I think when I was tongue in cheek, by the way, when I said I'm not going to say them again because it was a bit like, as I said, I wouldn't say I hadn't said it so when I said it a few times. But the position of it was, and I think the biggest thing about the standards thing was the size of the squad. It was the motivation of players that you're going to not play or you're out of the Champions League squad or these things like, it's like asking, you know, one of you, I don't know, you maybe love doing this. This is like one of your great moments. I want to sit and you want to speak to all these fantastic people that you speak to. Thanks for your prep, Steve, and now Peter Jones is going to do it. Cheers, how long are you going to go with that? So, and I think in football, that's a challenge with 20 or so players which is the modern squad. But with Chelsea, it's got very big to the point where it's just how I felt where I can say, I'm not criticizing that player for a dropping standard. I want to try and get something out of him because I had a short period. I want to try and get something out of him so I would try. But then when you actually look at it, you kind of go, "Yeah, but he's had this for a long time where he's not playing." So he's not now being competitive with that player who is playing. So that player is pretty comfortable too because he's not pushing him. So you kind of get this thing where you're like, you know, we probably took it for granted in some of my better days at Chelsea when we were successful of like, this kind of thing at work. You know, it wasn't even a thing you said. You know, you didn't have to sort of have a meeting every day and go, you know, when I was in a standards culture, you know, nice pie chart and that's what that is. It was almost like this is what we do. And at the minute, sometimes for whatever reason, there's a transition of maybe new ownership. You know, not everything was perfect before the new ownership. I was there before the new ownership as well, like to find consistency as Chelsea would really want, winning Premier League titles and challenging has been a good few years now. So I think that getting the squad right, being able, probably a fresh voice as a manager coming in now, who's obviously a fantastic manager with a great record to come in and go, "No, this is the way." And now the squad looks compact. You're going to compete with each other and try and create a great environment. Everyone needs a great environment to have success. You cannot have a success with that team spirit and togetherness. So when I got there, I could just see that the spirit and the togetherness was not there. And it was nothing bad. You know, like it was not bad to go through the week. I could just see like you have to train elite to be elite. You have to. And that's not, you know, in a modern day, players play every few days sometimes. When I say that, it's not like, show me how many sprints you can do every day. It's like, okay, if we're doing prep tomorrow, give me that intensity of thought about what this is for you. Let me sit in your face. But in a Chelsea, when you did that, you had to go right. If I want to really focus on the 10 or 11 for tomorrow, that means I've got to have 18 players over there. And you kind of saw the body languages. They walked off some of them that they were like, again, because they've been having it all season some of them. So on a human level, I completely understood. And in the end, it was like, I came back here because obviously this was an opportunity to come to my club. You know, Chelsea, a club close to my heart. But as soon as I got in, I realized that probably I thought, you know what, 30 players, I can motivate in six, seven weeks because it's not like a long-term thing. I can come in and be fresh. But in terms of what, when I came in, I noticed very quickly that some players are probably thinking about the season's going to peter out and what's the future going to look like. And that was a difficult situation.

One of the issues was… (55:02)

I never crossed my mind that the size of the squad has such a big impact, but it makes perfect sense because you need that sort of healthy, competition. And I believe your first team was, was it 32 players? Yeah. Which is more than you're allowed to register for the Premier League or Champions League. So you had this kind of surplus of... A lot of players. A few are always injured, probably. So that comes down a bit. But it's a surplus. And it's a surplus of... The main couple of the squad is international players generally. There were a couple of young players, but when you try and build a squad, it would be like, this is my core, kind of 15 or 16. And then you go, maybe these two experienced players at my 90s play every way. And then we've got these kids that are waiting and they're like, just happy to be there. They want to play. They're going to be training. And if you give them an opportunity, they'll be like, but when you have international players in a big number, then of course, you're telling internationals, you've got to stay at home. It's not easy. And to have the conversation every Friday with them and get them lined up coming in is also not easy for your own energy. So that's not easy. I don't care how, what kind of a man manager you are. Like, it's like, next, you're not playing. Next, you're not playing. Whatever you try and box that up to a player, eventually they'll probably go, "I know I'm not playing. Stop telling me this shit." Do you know what I mean? I think that was an interesting learning curve for me. An interim job is what it is. And I kept getting asked. People, it was frustrating. Sometimes I was like, "Are you finding this so hard?" And you find this hard. I was like, "You know what? I'm back home in a club that I love. Fantastic training, but I'm doing everything I can in this job to try and improve it. But I knew behind the scenes there were a lot of things. Myself and my staff, we want to improve. We want to coach. We want to, when you lack those basics, and as I say, I think there's an understanding of a club that has to change now. I think it has to change. Then if you lack those basics, then it's really hard to get where you want to get to. How does that happen though? So there's 32 players. And then Chelsea spends more money than I think anyone's ever spent in a window, in that sort of January window. You bring in all of these players on these long contracts, which I've never heard before. It was like eight year contracts. And they're all like class amazing individual players. Is that because the new owner doesn't understand those dynamics of football? Because that's what it seemed like for me. I thought, "Either this is a genius or an idiot." I don't want to criticise anyone on a personal level. As I found looking and I gave, signing these players on eight year contracts, they're great players spending all this money, the impact on culture when you just throw stars in at such quantity. It looked like an experience in naivety. I think that's understood now in terms of what it's meant with those 30 players. And I think you've seen that now in that already I think 6, 7, 8 players have left. So I think the intentions are certainly good. I know that because the owners gave me an opportunity to go in there and I had a good relationship with them. Their intentions to do a good job at Chelsea are amazing. They want to take the club and be the best. They have great intentions. So now I think those younger players, now with a new voice, a new manager, the squad coming tight. I think they'll have a greater chance to show what they've got anyway. And they're talented players. I remember being in Chelsea when Eddon Hazard arrived. The pre-season was like, is this kid a bit lazy looking? It was a bit kind of strolling around. And in that first season it was like, I know it's really good. And then on the second and third, he's like, no, this is one of the best players in the Premier League scene. Well done. I'm really, really, really good. You can go through all these players who are like absolute legends. Now if you're asking those 5, 6, 7 players to come in and hit a grand run in a difficult moment for the club, it's understandable. So I think as a Chelsea fan, you look at it and kind of go, right, okay, that is positive. That's talent there. It needs to be worked with. Now I'm sure that you can see the squads getting trimmed. And as I can say, I'll hand on the heart, the intentions of the owners is absolutely, they've spent that money because they want to do well. Now if they're going to address the situation a bit, that's their strategy going forward. But I do think you'll see players like Enzo Fernandez, Mudrick and these players, Madawiki, young players, they're going to develop. And they're going to be big players for the club. You have to get the structure right and the strategy right going forward. My thing is that adding like, I don't know, 6 or 7 of these players all at once, pretty much halfway through the season. In a squad that's already struggling to figure out who it is, under Graham Potter. It begs the question, who's doing the recruitment here? Because at other clubs, it's a much more strategic, it seems like a much more strategic and intentional. And football driven approach to recruitment. Whereas from what I saw at Chelsea, and I have actually spoken to some people at Chelsea, who are involved in recruitment, it seemed like chaos. Yeah, I wasn't there for that period. So that was in, I got there in April and like, so January was the last window and obviously they spent last summer. But I think the change of ownership and then obviously some people moved on who were in the hierarchy of the club. So there was a big change of structure. So I think you have to give some time and some leeway for the process. And they're certainly now our sport and directors and recruitment people in there having worked with them, who are very talented, very hungry, good to go. And I think now it will be up to them to take the club forward. They haven't signed bad players. I think this maybe the strategy of bringing them all in at that time looks a bit exciting. I think as in terms of there's a lot of players to success, but I think probably there's a long game and I think there's a plan. And I think probably most huge clubs like Chelsea have had a version of what this period is mentioned. As you mentioned there, Arsenal for quite a long time, Liverpool for periods. So I think we have to give different, I think to over judge now when I think they have signed some good players would be to be over critical. I think the proof will be now how these players develop once now it feels a bit more settled going forward. I think that's all true. I think what's the optimal way for player recruitment to happen in your opinion? Because you often hear about these stories of where, I don't know, it will take charge of a club and then they'll just decide who they want. Which is probably what I'd be like if I was an owner. I think I would like football manager. I think I just buy who I want to buy, who I think looks good. Manchester United suffered with that. It felt like our decisions were commercial decisions as opposed to footballing decisions. Then when Eric Tenhoggs come in, it feels a bit more like it's from all decisions. In your opinion, and then I did speak to some people at Chelsea because I actually went to, I was invited to sit with Richard Arnold and a couple of the Manchester United executives. And when we played Chelsea, I was in the directors box. So I sat with the new sporting director at Chelsea. And he said there's now two sporting directors, I believe. So it's interesting to talk to them. But what is the, about the optimal way for recruitment to happen in your opinion? Well, I think you have to understand what you want the philosophy and the identity of the club to be. So, for instance, I think Manchester City are quite firm in the idea when the Pep Guillot has come in and the sporting directors have worked at Barcelona previously with him. This is how we want to play. This is a manager that's going to deliver that style. So here's how we recruit for that style. Chelsea's always been a bit different for me. The beautiful game that the ticket hacker called Man City has not been Chelsea's style. It's been more of a winning machine in a different kind of way. In my day, it was more of a powerful team that was probably good on the eye, but we were not that kind of, you know, past, past, past. We were like powerful and effective. So I think you have to understand what you want to be. And once you get to that point, you probably, the first thing is to recruit a coach that works within that. And, you know, that's the kind of coach you want because this is going to be those conversations are an interview process. And then once you get to that point, I think the recruitment has to be joined up, depending on how active the owner wants to be. And I respect and appreciate active owners, their clubs, their prerogative, and then the sporting directors and the manager. And then obviously recruitment, which brings all the data and analysis into the picture. And it has to be joined up. And you have to be all very confident by the time you want to bring in a player that you're going, "Yeah, this is the player you want to bring in and always want to two or three options because you may not get target number one." But I think you have to be able to recruit for the style that you want to be. So the coach really has to have a big buy into that as well. But you, as a coach in the Monday, you understand the process. I appreciate being a lion and having other people, not just responsible for who you're bringing in, but also giving me something that I don't know. I'm not there siphon through the data. They have to show you that data. And here's the reasons why the videos, people that have watched them, and also the personality of the player. Because not to say you're going to sign 10 James Milner's because their character is amazing in their professionalism. But you need to know that they're going to come in and the dressing room is going to be good for the dressing room. And they're going to help in terms of how you drive forward in terms of their personality.

What would have had to happen to avoid Chelseas bad culture? (01:04:13)

One of the key questions I want to answer, and I want to ask you today, is how would you have had to happen to avoid the situation where you had that unhealthy culture at Chelsea behind the scenes? And when you came back in as the interim, what could you have done to avoid that happening? Say you were in hindsight, have a wand and correct things that were done. I get the first point, which was about smaller squad size. What else avoids that? From my first day in there. You're a genie. And you know what you know about what you inherited there? What would have had to be done previously to avoid you inheriting that? Smaller squad is the first thing that I got. Yeah, smaller squad. I mean, some things are just a bit, you know. There are phases, you know, and I think Chelsea won the Champions League. I left, they won the Champions League like three or four months after I left. And at that point you kind of go, okay, where's the next move? And you kind of go, how was recruitment? Then what things worked then? And maybe some players left during that period. Maybe in terms of recruitment you wanted to bring in, maybe some people would be like the future in terms of the... When I was at Chelsea before, I wanted to bring in Declan Rice. I was like, this kid's going to be the captain of Chelsea for the next, you know, ten years. It didn't happen. But anyway, but I think in terms of those things, it's hard for me to sit here and kind of dissect, you know, other people's work in that period in between, you know, like I would have maybe had an idea. It wasn't my idea because I'd already left the club. So maybe like when I came in, it's not... It's pretty hard for me to kind of dissect all those moves, you know. I came into what I came into. So, you know, that's... I think it'd probably be a little bit casual for me to kind of go, they should have done this, you know. It's a hindsighty one that's... Yeah, it's kind of me wondering just because I've been a man in that fan and I've seen that happen and I saw obviously Sir Alex Ferguson leave and then we just had these ten years of what I described as like confused chaos. And I'm trying to figure out almost like how in a Sir Alex Ferguson situation, how he... we could have avoided that if it all possible. I mean, it's such a big figure. That's difficult, isn't it? I don't know enough about Manchester tonight, but I do... I can understand why after Sir Alex leaving, and also pivotal players will probably come into the end of their time, do the same time as him leaving. To replace that and keep moving forward, I mean, you can... there might have been mistakes and it's not my thing, but I can understand why it feels like a long period for a Clumeter-Sizer Manchester United, but it just shows you that I think that how cutthroat and fast-moving this Premier League is, because if you come off the gas... gas in terms of recruitment or whatever or you have a bad time, climbing back up there, people think, "Oh, yeah, you know, you're Chelsea, you've been a Champions League again next year." Or Arsenal, you'll be there like... Arsenal had to work a long time to come back and challenge for the league last year, with a lot of work and, you know, people were criticizing, like, Michel Artetto in the beginning, and now, you know, they've worked together and stuck together and recruited really well, and now they're ready to go, so I mean, it's not... I don't think we should expect even you being a Manchester Knight fan or me having a Chelsea head on that. Our next year, it's going to be great. Like, everyone else is moving forward too, you know? When you get that call, the interim call, you've just left Everton, you're out of work, Grandpot has been released from his responsibilities.

What was going through your head when you go that call? (01:07:21)

What's going through your head when they say, "We want you to come back in and take an interim manager role." If I was a flow on the wall when that phone call happens, you nearly were. What? I know, yeah, I mean, I wasn't going to tell the story, but... No, I could tell it for you. I was coming to meet you and I rang you to say, "Sorry, I'm going to become Chelsea manager." That meeting, you know, people arrived at my house that afternoon. So... Well, just to be clear, you didn't tell me that exactly. You said, "I can't come and I can't tell you why." Then I told you after. Yeah, then you told me after. But I'm not an idiot, so... I kind of inferred maybe that. Okay, anyway, I mean... No, I think probably that... It's normal that I consider everything, and I probably considered it as in... Firstly, it's a club very close to my heart, as I said before. A challenge of working, and it was like we had two games against Real Madrid and we had the season to pan out. It was difficult running, so I was fully aware of that. And now, maybe like, you know, I do love a challenge. If that challenge had been probably any other club other than Chelsea, I probably would have said no. I was very happy to be at home such in that period. I wasn't fine to get a job at that period. So it was probably a bit of head and heart. I'm not sure what probably heart probably was a bit more substantial in this one than the head, because I suppose if you look back, again, we were in that hindsight position, but, you know, what were my positive outcomes, what were my negative ones? The minute we didn't get through against Real Madrid, which probably a lot of people would have been on, you're kind of into that zone of end of season and what are you playing for as a club like Chelsea, and that's not the norm with Chelsea. It should be planned for something. And in the end, we played for not so much. And of course, another reason why motivation come down. So I probably could have been a bit more ahead of the game in that, whether that would have changed my mind. I don't have a regret about doing it. I went back there. If people from the outside want to, you know, criticize or have a view on it from the outside for six or seven weeks work, I've got no problem with that. I worked at Chelsea before. I worked at other clubs, and, you know, it's another experience. It wasn't my most favorite experience in my footballing career. I won't lie about it. It's an experience. And I have learnt out of it. Not so much, but I've mentioned a few other things. Not your favorite experience. Did you enjoy it, be honest? I enjoyed the first few weeks. I felt like I was back at Cobham. I know so many people there. I was, like, into the challenge. In the middle bit, I probably started to understand more that there's a lack of what we've spoken about. And then in the last week, we had Men's City Away, Manchester City Away, Newcastle at home. I was running, and I was like, "Okay, let's get through this week, because I could see that the players were ready for the season to finish." You know, again, some of it I got on a human level. Does that all hurt you, to some degree? Because you love this club so much, and you're a winner. And if you see these players have checked out, you know, it's not just their checking out when you were a manager, but they're checking out on the club that you love. Yeah, as a general, it didn't hurt me because I've been working football for a period. I've been a player a long time. I've seen a lot of these instances. And I'm not holding the players to my standard as such. And a lot of them, I didn't know the back story and the side stories. I could get that they were moving on. So, you know, if the players moving on, they might just not be ready for those last few games. They might have a bit of an issue or something. But there's no way that you can accept that. No, but put it this way. I don't want to come here and shout too much, because in a short period, it's hard for me to make too many statements. What I will say is that I think I understood the role of being interim, and I understood that probably there was not much. There's certainly not much to gain from me saying that was so bad or that was so bad now, because when I look back, I'll probably just try and take my own thing out of it. I don't want to go there. I didn't work long enough with the players to be there to one guy. And I can't believe that happened at the end of the season. You know, I walked into position with some of them a bit disenchanted or whatever. I'm not going to tell that player that you shouldn't feel like this. I'll try and drive them and drive them amongst the group, but it's not for me to go, because a lot of players will sit with a couple of players, sat with me and say, "Listen, I want to be leaving in the summer. I'm finding it a bit difficult." I'm like, "I'll get that. I'm not going to change that in four weeks or whatever." So what was the objective then in the four weeks when you're thinking about when you realize that what was the sort of behind the scenes context? Do your objective shifts slightly and go, "Okay, success here now looks like this for me?" Yeah, in reality. And I didn't get that because it would be results, you know, because everyone would judge me on results. So in terms of me, it would be success here to have got better results in that period of time and come through their work and at a high level club again. It's extreme pressures. It's the media, it's the players. It's everything is trying to get results in games. And in some games, it competed against Real Madrid. We competed against Manchester City. We competed. But that wasn't to be. But that was my version of success.

Do you regret taking the job? (01:12:33)

But football is not that simple. So many journalists ask you after if you kind of regret taking the job. And your answer has always been like, "No, because I've learned a lot." You see your club, it's Chelsea. However, had you known the context, and this is only something we can know in hindsight, we can't know it in foresight, if there was some magic genie that could have shown you the context, the behind the scenes, the dynamics, the 32 players, the culture, honestly, do you think you would have made a different decision? Because I think I would have. Yeah. But we don't have hindsight, obviously. It's a magical thing that... Yeah, but I think probably, and you might think I'm wrong with this, but you would probably be taking some emotion out of it from my point. And also just how I am about the challenge of going into that. So if you say, "All the context is here, Frank, but you're not going to know what the results are yet, but here's all the context." Now, this player is disenchanted. I kind of knew that. I wouldn't say, "This is how it's working." I'm like, "Okay, this is what I've got to work with. Can I get results?" And whether I was misguided in my own thoughts, I probably would have gone, "Yeah, I will do that." If I've got a feeling of, "It's too easy for me to say I wouldn't have done it for that." And nobody gave me that, what you said, done it, if you had done an ideal world. I understand what you're saying. And again, that's why people might look at it. I generally don't have a problem with someone else. I would possibly have a view from the outside of someone doing what I did. I don't think he's stuck changed the world. I think my... I played for 13 years at Chelsea. I coached him before in the Champions League for two years on the track. I don't think that... Where do people want to be viewing me? I don't worry about that. I'll be back for that challenge, that period. We didn't get the results or wanted. I know a lot of the reasons why. I'll take the responsibility for my reasons why. And that was it. I don't have a big issue with it. It's like, because it's Chelsea's so topical, you manage Chelsea. It's one of the biggest clubs in the world. It's one of the clubs that takes so much, especially in the Roman Abramets, it's so much interest because there's a turnover. You lose one or two games. It's like, "Oh, what's happening here?" So, I'm big enough and strong enough to handle that stuff. So, you would have... Having seen the context, you would have backed yourself regardless. I don't have a big gardener. That sounds like I'm thinking I'm some superman. It turned out not to be Superman. You know what I mean? I don't know. You're asking me so hypothetical. The season ends, eventually. Relief? Relieved in any way? How do you feel? The last couple of weeks were quite tough because it was seeing out of season. That's not for someone like me and for a club like Chelsea, it's not a nice place to be. I want to challenge the things. That's not nice. I released probably, yeah, because I knew it would end and it ended and it wasn't back nice at time. Time to have holidays. I've planned before, yeah, for sure. Time to reflect. I haven't got a huge amount of reflections on it. A lot of people have, but I haven't. I've got more reflections on the year at Everton and 18 months at Chelsea before in Derby. This period was so abstract in a way for me. That interim role was so different that I can't put it into a context of like, I wish I'd gone on a meeting. If I'd have done a meeting about culture, I think it would have changed. It wouldn't have changed. If my tactics were slightly different in that game, I don't believe it would have changed. Me overthinker would definitely think that if it was there. I might be right wrong, but so I don't. So relief and a feeling of like, I wish that had gone better. It's just human nature. I wanted it to be better because I'm a Chelsea person. The Chelsea fans are fantastic with me. In this model mode, I'm not saying flick online, you'll find everyone fantastic, but in terms of the Stanford Bridge, I think there's an understanding at the moment, the club's not where it wants to be. Chelsea fans are actually pretty good with that. There's some other clubs that will be, like we lost at home to Brentford 2-0, and there'll be some clubs that will be fans that will be a bit more vocal. They're actually pretty good. I think they're wanting to see something better this year, but they've also, Chelsea fans watched the team in the second division in the 80s and seen some struggles over the years. They're old to fan. So I do think that the success that they've enjoyed as a club for these 20 years or so, there's a real appreciation of it. I don't want to go on forever, but I do think they understand it's a difficult moment. I certainly felt that at Stanford Bridge. They were chanting your name even at all traffic, but I was there, even though the score line wasn't great. I actually do think that the Chelsea fans have understood that the new ownership, what you said, to their intentions are good. I think they can respect what really good players, there's a transitional moment, but I think they all appreciate that.

How do you keep family life and work life separate? (01:16:53)

All of that stuff, all of that noise online, Christine, you, family, you mentioned scrolling online, how does one keep those two worlds apart so that you can focus on your job without letting the outside world in too much? What is that? We've got a strategy. I don't scroll too much. You don't scroll? No. You scroll at all? Very, very occasionally. Do you have the apps? The social networking apps? I've Instagram. I have Instagram page, but I'm not very active on. It's just not really me. I scroll for nousiness, which everyone has to do, a few friends and stuff or whatever. But I don't actively do it because I don't have the time to do it in terms of myself. It's just not something, anyone else wants to show themselves, somebody in a gym, that's their prerogative. When I problem with that, for me, it's just not something I do. That's a nice line. I'm quite a boxer in my life. When I said that, I'm in a box-off things. When I'm on a box-off, I don't want to hear that some fan in San Soh is going to say about me here and flick on the comments from a Chelsea post. I would just flick by that. I try and stay aware of media because I think I do press conferences every four days. You have to understand what the tone is of what maybe people are writing about you or the journalists. How do you do that? Have you got someone that comes and briefs you in the morning? Yeah. They tell you what you need to know. I would tap into a bit in the week, whether I'm flicking on certain websites through the week. I wouldn't, obviously, go into the story, into the comments. I would kind of go into this because you've got to be across things. I would do that. But I think it's very unhealthy to scroll. I've found that as a... My plan career missed out the social media came in towards the end. I'm so thankful that we used to just have the newspapers given us like three out of ten when we played "Fringman" and we got knocked out of the World Cup. And that was hard. We were looking at the paper to see what they gave you. And that was a version of that. And then the social media, so I don't envy the modern player. As a manager, I think it's a bit different. I'm not in a place where I scroll. So I don't envy these younger players, men and women now, that are coming through in a household name. It's getting so much attention and so much of it's negative. I think it's incredible that we've got to that stage. That amount of hate for, but it's so easy to be hateful. And I would try and say to the young players, don't look at it. But the minute the game finishes, they're flicking. And it's difficult. In your professional career, what has been... What do you kind of countdown as the hardest moment in terms of scrutiny?

Career Challenges And Future Insights

The hardest moment in your career (01:19:30)

In your professional and like your playing career and your managerial career? What has been the hardest moment for you? - Blind for England. - Really? - Yeah. - 2006, the year... 2006 World Cup, I think I had, I brought the record for shots at goal without scoring. Classic. - Wasn't it just a loud one that should have gone in? That was in 2010. - Oh, okay. The 2006, I think I had like 32 shots or something. I went in as England player of the year. I had a year or two playing for England, so I'd got myself in there and was becoming, you know, in a fiction at the same. And then I went there having scored some goals in the lead up, scoring at Chelsea and just had a tournament and it wouldn't go in for me. And then that played on my mind in games, I was like second guessing myself a little bit in the game. And probably off the back of that, there's a lot of criticism. For myself, for some others, I remember us, Chelsea boys getting a lot of criticism for the next six months, every away game that we went to was like, you let your country down. It's the song. How does that compare to being a manager in terms of criticism? I found it harder as a player. I don't know whether it's just maturity. Because as a player, I don't know, maybe it's in the 20s, I found it harder. As a manager, I think it's a different version of criticism. And I think as a player, I don't know why I found it harder. If I'm a fly on the wall after a bad defeat, what do I see? You probably see a bit of a face, you know, and a going over the situation, kind of face. And it's different. I have certain games that they will affect you. And it might not be the one you'd expect. The manager should know, you talked about it, we lost four ones in. That one might be different because I kind of know where we're at. This season, Peter and I, we played some good stuff, whatever. And there might be another game that we'd lost and it really affected me because maybe I did or should have done a substitution. So on those bad ones, you would see the face. And, you know, I would, you know, I kind of go into the show. I was like, I'm soaking in my bedroom. I'm being a big boy, you know. But, you know, maybe you have a glass of wine, still on it. Don't get to bed till quite late. And then you have to go again, you know, like it's a great sort of adage that you can people go. You learn more from defeat. You don't feel like that straight away, but you have to be big enough to go over the game again. What's the strategy now? What's the solution to that? What do we do wrong? And that's what it is. You can't get too down, but we're all human.

Your mothers passing (01:21:55)

When you were 29 years old, one such moment occurred in your life that really, I think, from your own words, tested you at a much deeper level, you described yourself as being a zombie for a year after the passing of your mother. She died at 58 years old while you were playing and while you were playing at the very, very highest level. That, for me, struck when I was reading through the way you described that moment in your life struck me as a real sort of destabilizing moment in terms of focus and all of those things. The question that I had is how, as a player, when you're playing at the highest level and you have something like that happen, how do you show up and maintain those standards and be a Franklin pod? That's probably what I meant when I said zombie because it became autopilot. And I think when you talk about mental health, that's the one time that I've been challenged to the extreme with it. And a lot of people go through this. And that was the really interesting thing I found because I have some perspective now, these years later, is that when it happens to you and it's unexpected, it's very sudden to me. You've never thought about that kind of thing happening before. The only thing I'll say is this, I was a mummy's boy as I've said before. So I used to have these weird moments. I don't know if you had them. I had them sometimes when I think about death and I kind of go, "Oh God, when you die, there's nothing." And I have those moments and it hits me in the stomach for about like four seconds. I'm driving along and there's nothing. I'm like, there's absolutely nothing. And then you go, "Oh, you've got to go to life carries on." And I used to have that with my mum. I don't know if it was probably reliance I had on her. She was like, "I was so like mummy's boy growing up." But I remember as I got a little bit older like to my teens and I was like, "I imagine mum wouldn't there for a moment." It was a panic for like 10 seconds. I remember them. And then because it was 29, as you say, and it was very sudden, I was in a hotel that we used to stay at pregame. We were playing Wigan in the evening at home. I got a call from my sister's teleminutes. She'd fell ill. And then I kind of went, "Okay, it's going to the hospital. Okay, that's a danger." So I went to sleep. I didn't sleep. I supposedly would sleep. I was kind of lying there a bit like tossing and couldn't get off. I'm not a manxity. I've got another call. And as we get on the bus to go to Stanford Bridge, it's like two a mile. I get the call that, "No, no, she's getting much worse." So I'm like, "Right, I'm in Frank. I'm a sportsman. Go and do your job mode." And then I just kind of broke a bit on the coach. I felt myself go gray. And someone said to me, "You went gray." But I felt myself go, "Oof." Anyway, I got to the stage. I said to the manager, "Manage, this is what's happening." And he was like, "Pfft, go." So I was like in my track to drive over to East London, Mums in hospital. So when I get there, Mums now, and the verge of going into intensive care, so she's got stuff on and stuff, and I'm walking in. I'm in my tracksuit. And my mum had the oxygen mask on. And she hadn't been speaking. So she's taken Julio in a day. And she lifted a mask and said to me, "What are you doing here? I'm in my Chelsea tracksuit." And I didn't know what to say because I didn't want to go, "I'm here because this is a really bad situation." And I'm just here to see you, and then put the mask back on, and then she was really... And then they kind of wheeled her in. She helped my hand, which I'll never forget. And then she went in and was put into intensive care. So that was a one-week process of my mum in intensive care. So she started to get better. And then a few of the family were kind of getting not excited about it, but it was like, "That's progress." And she had a lot of times out. She'd been on every machine possible. And I'm still having to think about going into work. I can't remember if I trained in that period. I can't remember that week. That's like a blur. I just remember being at home a lot, you know, really, you know, in a bad way. And then we had Champions League games coming up against Liverpool. I played one away. I came back. Mum was getting a bit better. And then we got the phone call that she passed away. She had a brain hemorrhage. But just as she was getting better, everyone was excited. She passed away there. And then so it was like the biggest devastation. I can't explain. And as I say, years later, I realized that this happens to so many other people. And when you're a young man who hadn't really lost anyone, you don't have that real feeling of what that is. And I lost a person that was the closest person to me. You know, everything to me. And I'll never forget the feeling of my stomach. And I talk about it. I get it instantly again. And I lost, you know, was my best friend, the person that had given me that kind of emotion, stuff I'd spoken about, the warmth, and the sudden feeling that someone's not going to be with you. Like it doesn't compare to anything when you're that close. So in terms of work after that, probably some of it, if I look back, I probably go, maybe I should have just come out of it. Life is bigger than that. But it was like probably a tiny coping mechanism for me. We played a game against Liverpool, the second leg. And I scored a penalty. We won the game. Now we're getting sent to the Champions League final. And I remember sitting in dresser and afterwards, and I had this almighty sense of fatigue and body and mental fatigue. And I went home and sort of opened a beer and I couldn't even drink it. I went to bed. And it was like, everything came out of me then, a week or two, a full blast of this pain. You know, it's this complete pain. And then you lose your best friend and the person that, you know, I've still got a number in my phone and I've still got a couple of voice note things. We were never a big family for videos and stuff. And I wish we were. The only thing I have is my mum's sister is Sandra, Sandra Redknap, Harry Redknap's wife. And every time I speak to Sandra, him, my mum. They look very similar. They sound very similar. And the first period, it was painful now. It's kind of nice, you know, because that's a memory for me. The, you know, it's the feeling of grief, you know, it catches up with me now and again many years later. I think I probably had a year. I was sort of single. I was like, probably drinking a little bit. I was playing fantastic football. A really good year of football was weird. And then I met Kristin and thank God Kristin came along around that time because that was a little bit, you know, not right in that period. So it was a, it was a, it was a really, obviously, you know, anybody who loses someone so close to them. But she was so big in my life and was such a balance in my life. And then, you know, that sudden thing is just terrible. Did you process that? Because it sounds like, because you had football commitments back to back to back, that there wasn't really an opportunity to like sit and... Yeah. I don't know. I mean, I've been through the experience and... That zombie thing I talk about is like, I couldn't comprehend it. I felt empty and weak, but I had a job to do. And the job was so second. I certainly wasn't trying to be a hero. I just didn't know what it felt like. I think if I'd have laid around all day, I would have really taken more of a hit. It was almost like getting up and going to work in that period and having something to aim for, which is almost like I should do. And then I definitely took the hit later on for that. I definitely took a kind of deferred moments of grief. And I talk about them. I could say there it could be anything that would be... A couple of glasses of wine and something said at a dinner table. A moment of someone else, and I feel bad about this, talking about their mother or something, you know, and they're talking glowingly about their mother. And you kind of get hit, you know, or another parent's birthday. Like crazy things. I've got no right to be upset about it, you know what I mean? But it just hits me and you kind of... And that sort of get on with it like harden those, get on with it some kind of feel, which is stuck with me. That was the one time I remember being absolutely broken and tested on that. Because I had no... And I got some anger as well. I remember having road rage a couple of times. Literally the few days after I pulled out of my drive. And it was a Chelsea game. I wasn't playing it because of what happened. But I was at home and I was driving to go and see my sister or something. Someone sort of drove across me and I got out of car and I went for it. And it was a Chelsea fan who went and went and went and I was like, "Sorry." And I had these moments of anger in a period afterwards which had just come out of me out of nowhere. I wouldn't say that they've stuck with me from now, but it definitely changed me as a person. I don't know how to explain it, but it definitely made me have a different take on things and be a bit more... I don't know if "Bruphilis" is the word, but more... You know that thing about cutting out some people that were in your life that you maybe would have gotten with. I just kind of took a little bit more of a direct approach in my life after that. Amongst some serious moments of grief within it. It was just a tough time. The only benefit... It sounds really warped. I said this to someone the other day. The only benefit is that now... I don't have to go through that again. That sounds really strange. It was such a tough period for me. The only thing now, and I see, you know, Christine's family are there and other people around me have friends and family. And I miss my mum so much, like, every day. And it's time goes by, of course, things balance out. But I can't envisage ever going through that pain again about what I did because my mum was the only person being out. Now, Christine is obviously that person in my life and my children, of course. But in terms of what she meant to me at that time, the only thing that is like, I can go... It's so painful, I really couldn't go through that again now. It's a weird way of looking at it. I hope that doesn't sound strange. It's just processing it was too difficult. It's almost like a dream. My life was never supposed to be like that in my head. My mum was 58, and I felt like she was quite old. And now I start doing the maths. I'm 44. You know, and you kind of go, "It was an old. I was 29 and a month or a bit older at a point now." She should be in the 70s now. As I said, the sudden nature of it meant you couldn't speak to her as well, which was like... As I've got older, I realised that my mum would have known exactly how I felt about her. But at the time it was like, "I want to say something more." You want to say something more? Just like, "Thank you." Do you know what I mean? Like, thanks for being the balance, for being the one who, you know, in those tough moments when my dad was being harsh or something there, for being the one that would, when I was crying in the bath after a game and coming and knocking on the door, it's like for making me food. You know, things a great mother does. She just was that. You know, my mum was there to sort of... It might be sound old school now, but she was a hairdresser by trade, who then became my house wife and a mother. And, you know, for everything that was gone on in my family life and lots of things have, she was always the one that was like the real stand-up one. But back now I understand it even more, that she had the ethics and everything about her. And then I would love to just be able to say that. You know, it's like an emotional song can get you going. It's like, "Can I speak to her one more time to say, "Here's a monologue for you." You know, like, just to hear it. But with time I definitely have got more strength in the fact that she knew that. And that's it. When everyone I speak to says that you are that class act. You are the kind, you're empathetic and all of that. Now I know where that's coming from now. I don't know. Listen, I knew you were going to ask me this because I've seen, you know, it wouldn't be, you know, it's just part of my story. And I didn't want to cry. I'm surprised I haven't. But because I've cried probably enough at different times. But it's almost something like it is strangely therapeutic to speak about it. It is very public. And that's not normally how I'm a very private. Our lives, Christian, are very private. It's how we like to live. And sometimes when those moments where I say that really grief-stricken moments over a glass of wine kind of feel better after them because that's probably what I held in when I was like hitting that penalty and people giving you huge plot. I remember when you scored that penalty when your mum had just died as if it was like a hero. It wasn't. It was me just kind of going, "I've got to try and do this and do my job." And then these moments now sometimes are quite therapeutic if I'm honest. Especially for other people that have gone through that and much worse. A lot of worse things can happen in different ways. But until you feel that loss, you know, I actually remember thinking when I lost mum, it was like a couple of my friends lost their parents when they were younger. And I remember then thinking, "I've never really broached that subject with them." You know, a couple of my friends like 14 and I met at school like that age who had already lost their parent or were in the process. And I never really kind of went and I was like 14 and I was 29. And I'd never even thought about it. But you know, you kind of asked, "Sorry mate." And then you move on and you can imagine what's, you know, all the things and I had to process it. 29 is slightly different. But those things, so it, you know, life kicks you sometimes. And that was the biggest kick I think I'll have had till this point, you know, and hopefully for a long time. Do you talk about your emotions with Christine?

Do you talk about your emotions normally? (01:34:41)

Yeah, I do. I think I'm quite good about that. She will say to me sometimes, "I'm quite closed for that stuff." And then that kind of kicks me into talking about it because it gets out aren't they? Yeah. My girlfriend's really good at that. Yeah. Annoyingly good. Yeah, and they're really good. And I don't mind. She sees me going into the zone kind of thing sometimes. And she'll be like, "What's bothering you?" And I'll be like, "Oh well it's this." You know, it's probably something that's a bit irrelevant or something. Is that the first answer you'll give? Because mine's usually nothing. Yeah, yeah, no, I'll do the next thing. No, I definitely do that though. It's like it's because they don't want to open the box. No, no, that's true. But it's good. I think because I definitely want to don't come across as this. You know, like I said, like this get on with it thing is certainly not me. I look at myself as being, you know, the balance again of my mother was that one that she gave me that kind of empathy. I associate all the empathy with my mother that I had because that's how she was always with me. So when I, you know, it's just I also have a mechanism that kind of keeps it there. But it's definitely inside. And you know, maybe children also help with that because when you see your child and their smiles and their sort of innocent nature and how they are, I think that also helps you become a little bit more emotional because you start to care about that more than pretty much anything else, which is, which has also been a beautiful thing. Over the last few years, I've realized that my first foundation is my health, something you've heard me talk about a lot. Nothing matters more than that first foundation. So that is why I'm so excited to be involved with a company like Woop, who are leading the charge when it comes to bettering your health. All my friends have received free loops from me because once you've tried Woop, I think it's like lights turning on to your health. That's the only way I can describe it. My sleep, my performance, my recovery, my stress. It's like someone turned the lights on. I'm sure you guys know, but for those that don't know what Woop is, it's a wearable health and fitness coach that provides you with the feedback and actionable insights into your sleep recovery training stress and overall health. And I have become entirely utterly obsessed with it. If you know me well enough, you know how obsessed I am with the smallest details. I think the small things compounded together produce the biggest gains in our life. And that is exactly what Woop does in my health and fitness every single day. Being able to see my 1% gains on Woop has had a profound impact on my health journey. I highly recommend you try it. All you have to do is search to get a free month's Woop membership on me. And if you do, send me a DM and let me know how you get on. I'd love, I'd love, I'd love to know. A quick word on heel. As you know, they're a sponsor of this podcast and I'm an investor in the company. One of the things I've never really explained is how I came to have a relationship with heel. One day in the office many years ago, a guy walked past called Michael and he was wearing a heel t-shirt. And I was really compelled by the logo. I just thought for a minute, a design aesthetic point of view. It was really interesting. And I asked him what that word meant and why he was wearing that t-shirt. And he said, "It's this brand called heel and they make food that is nutritionally complete and very, very convenient and has the planet in mind." And he, the next day, dropped off a little bottle of heel on my desk. And from that day onwards, I completely got it. Because I'm someone that cares tremendously about having a nutritionally complete diet. But sometimes, because of the way my life is, that falls by the wayside. So if there was a really convenient, reliable, trustworthy way for me to be nutritionally complete, in an affordable way, I was all ears. Especially if it's a way that is conscious of the planet. Give it a chance. Give it a shot. Let me know what you think.

Whats the future like for you? (01:37:59)

What's the future like for you, Frank? What do you think? I don't know. I might... It's hard to know. It's hard to know. A lot of people can say to me, "Oh, you should get into punditry. It's easy, but you're feet up. Do what you know." And certainly, I get my enjoyment. I get my blood flow and is working and being a coach. So that's what I want to do. And I'm in no immediate rush to do it. The reality is, off the back of Everton and Chelsea, it's probably time for me to take my time anyway. Because of what opportunity there might be out there. There may be no opportunity. There may be something that comes up that I want to look at and say, "Does that work for me on all purposes?" Because I get your point with the Chelsea one. It's like, "Did you really need to take that?" And the jobs I've taken have been quite challenging. And a lot are. I'm not saying I'm going to be giving this like, "Here you go. This is going to be great." So I would try and choose well without sounding too picky because I want to work. And in the meantime, do the things that make me happy, which is being around my family. I like to travel. It's like the one thing that I really like to spend my money on. When I travel, I want to go better than home. And if I don't go better than home, I'll stay at home. I've got a nice house. So we love that. So I'll use the time to travel a bit, be with the family and my children, spend more time. My older daughters are doing A levels and GCSEs now and be around that. And that's nice. And sometimes I think that's good for me because I am so driven. It's like, I feel like I should work. I should work. And actually sometimes you're actually in 45 and I've done it right in my life. Maybe I don't need to work. And that's not a bad place to be. Unfortunately, I have gratitude for that. But at the moment, it's the gratitude of that. Enjoy it. And then try and work again. And what would be your decision-making framework when people call and say, "What about this job or what about this? How would you decide whether it's worth taking now?" Well, it's hard to say. But from my experience, I would want to make sure I would want to have conversations to find out what the job is. And I can't sit here, feel this way and talk to you about being a lion and they need to feel the way that I'm a bit of coach and they're going to do this and work together. And probably take another job where it doesn't feel aligned. I shouldn't do that. So I'd want to have a conversation and be like, "What can I do for you?" I have to tell myself clearly, that's the point. But what can, how will it work together? And maybe get something that feels a bit like, "I don't mind all work in the UK anywhere. I've been trying to avoid an opportunity. I came up. I would certainly prioritise a bit of family to make sure that it's something that works for my family." Ideally. I don't know. I don't know about that one. Everyone seems to be going there. I mean, I would prefer to stay in the UK for sure. And I don't mind. I went and lived in Everton for a year, lived in Derby for a year. I missed my family a lot, but you have to make those big decisions with fortunate in ways. But I'll see what comes up. It's hard to call before it comes. If we sit here in 10 years' time in this chapter, this next decade has been a success. What does that look like? What would have had to have happened for it to have been a success this next decade? Well, 55 year old Frank and me. 55, but I'm here. So that's good. At 55, I think my, you know, obviously the family to be well and healthy. You understand that more when you hit, for me it was hitting probably faulty health and understanding. You check yourself more on those things and lifestyle. And then to be hopefully have managed and had success coaching. You know, that's what I want to do. I can't see what it looks like, but I would love to be able to show myself consistently in a job and what I can do. I haven't had that opportunity yet for whether that was me or whether the circumstance has been to do that. So I'm very determined to do it. I'm good like that. I'm determined that I'd like to work. Like anyone who knows me will know that. Like regardless of what my career has been, if you put it in front of me, I'll tackle it. Head on. And then, you know, I'm always trying to improve. So hopefully in 10 years I can show you that. There's got to be a part you, the ones to go back to Chelsea someday. Knowing if I know you hard the way I know you, there's got to be a part you inside of you that's like, you know, one day I'll go back. It's funny. You know, like you talk about, should you have taken that job? I reckon if you'd have asked me that before going back, I might have said no, as in, not like I don't want to go back to Chelsea, but I would have certainly seen myself. No, no, like that's chapters done as a coach. But now I've been back. I would think about it even more. And it's strange. And I think, you know, the fact that the ownership has changed at Chelsea and it's gone in a different direction, I think it can be a really positive thing for the club. I think people might not see that now, but I think it really can. But obviously I have a lot to do to be part of that ever. But like, I don't, you have to make clear decision. When we got to play 30 years at Chelsea, I said I'm never playing anywhere else. I end up playing at Man City. Some people criticized me for that. It's fine. I didn't expect it, but Man City was an amazing experience. I went to New York City. It was an amazing experience. When you become a manager, you can't say I'm going to be Chelsea manager. I'm going to be this. You have to take the journey because that's the, those are the rules for all of us. You know, you can be, you know, a success for a moment of Everton. And when it goes all done, you stand up and then you do the next job. What is it? And I would, you know, I respect for so many big clubs that, you know, there are certain clubs I wouldn't manage. I'm not going to declare them because that just sounds cheap. And, but I think it's important. I respect my time at Chelsea's apply and what the club means to me. But I don't see it as the B1 handle. But as I say, having been back there, it did re-light a fire. I left Chelsea in COVID as a manager. I didn't have any fans in my last period. So I kind of walked out like a little bit through the back door in a sense. And this time it felt different. And that wasn't a great period. But it is still a huge club for me. So maybe. I'm really excited to watch what happens next. You did a great job at Derby. Obviously, then you got Chelsea into the Champions League. I think finished fourth that season under a transfer ban. And then you kept Everton up on the last day of the season, which again, most people have kind of counted Everton out. So obviously there was that interim period. I look, it's funny. I'm going to be honest. So I, when, when we were made out of this podcast last time, then you called me and said, listen, I can't come, can't tell you why. And I kind of put two and two together and figured it was the job. I looked at that and thought, like, I don't know, Chelsea at 11, 4, 12 at the moment. Like, what's the worst that can happen really? What I didn't know is the back context. So if I was in your shoes, in hindsight, and we don't have hindsight in the moment, I would have probably, I would have not taken the job if I was in that situation. But in four-side, I definitely would have 100%. For all the reasons you said, if Manchester's not called me now, I take the job and I have no experience. But I think what we're going to, I'm really excited to see what we see next from you and your sort of managerial career. Because, I mean, what the experience you've had, what's in all, is worth a ton, you know, at all different levels, all different phases, transitional, relegation battles, all of that is worth more than a lot of success is worth. And you've had that in a short window of time. So really, really excited about your next chapter, whenever it comes.

A message for the Chelsea fans (01:45:07)

Thank you. Is there anything at all you would say to Chelsea fans that are watching this now that are? Chelsea fans will be listening to this because they want to get a European on what's just happened. But they probably want to get your opinion on like what you think the future looks like, I guess. And also, I think a lot of them do want to like check in on you. Because since you've left, we've not really heard from you in such context. Yeah, and I've enjoyed that. I've enjoyed not speaking. It's nice. Now, I think for Chelsea fans, I would say that in terms of what do I think is next, I listened to Posh's here and I spoke yesterday, because he was his first press conference. And he spoke very well. And he spoke about bringing a unity at the training ground and a family feel and then winning, which is Chelsea, DNI. So I think they've got a really good manager in charge. And I think the players will definitely develop with their, you know, as they develop naturally, they could plies, young plies. There has to be some patience in putting that together because I think that has to be clear. And the owners have a big intention. So I think as things settle, it may not be straight away, but I think that there's a really positive future for the club. And I was in it and it was tough, but you know, I know how quickly things can change if you get the strategy right. In terms of me, I'm absolutely fine. And I'd certainly appreciate the support I had from, as I say, a majority, a lot of fans that would contact me, or be at Stanford Bridge. And for anybody that was on the other side of that was like, why is Frank back in the job? I think they may be. I've explained some of my part in it today and some of the challenges. I'll always take responsibility. I wouldn't walk back into that challenge without sort of saying this might not go right and what's my responsibility. But Chelsea is always a huge club. And as I say, I never went back to Chelsea until three days before I went and took the interim job manager and I went to Liverpool game and ended up having a conversation. And it was a difficult period for me for some reason. I left in COVID as I say and I moved on to Everton. And it reignited that kind of feeling being back in Stanford Bridge, I have to say. Not that I lost it. It just reignited it. And, you know, so Chelsea fans, I'm fine. I'm fine. I appreciate their support. Even my playing career. It's nice when you finish playing because your playing career is there. And I can look back on it with a lot of pleasure for a lot of the good moments. When you're in it, it's like, what's next and you're sort of like always challenging yourself. When you finish, you kind of go, yeah, you know, that was good. That was all right. There's a lot of good stuff. So, it was a good time. And I was very thankful to be part of a great club. And we'll see. You gave Mason Mount his start. Yes. I think he's a great sign in for your... Yeah, that's what I was going to say. Thank you for that.

Why is mason mount leaving Chelsea? (01:47:39)

He's fantastic. Why is he leaving Chelsea? He's born in bread, isn't he? Yeah. I think it's a complicated one. And in the end, I think it's got a year left in his contract. What I'll say about Mason is all the things I spoke about. Now, you talk about modern players and how the game's changed. He's a throwback to the attitude and the commitment and the quality. You know, that was the beauty of working with Mason was that he gave you so much in terms of his effort every day. Anything you'd ask him to do is like, yeah, he kind of got it. And I think any great player has to have that kind of intelligence and that desire about them. You know, like, what do you need me to do? I've got it and I'll do it. I'll repeat it. And also quality. So in terms of what he'll bring to Manchester United, it won't just be what Mason brings. He will bring loads of talent, but he's just going to go up and levels around. Really? He's a bar raiser. Yeah, I think so. And don't be wrong, the bar raiser is already there with Bruno Fernandez, Rashford Mira. But he will absolutely fit in with it. If you're trying to build, which you're saying, a group mentality of a team and players are just going to give everything in their talent, which stops him. He fits it. So I've seen some sort of alternative reactions to that. It's like, oh, yeah, Mason Mount's a good bomb. Why would you play that for him? Mason Mount is going to be a fantastic player there, my opinion. It's really nice to know because actually I was on the fence in regards of don't really know the character of the man. But I have heard from inside all traffic that Eric Tenharg is really ultra focused on exactly what you said above everything else. He's focused on that like core values. So Casamiro, Bruno, etc, etc. And so it's nice to know that Mason is a bar raiser. Why is he leaving? Do you know? Seeking a different challenge or is it? No, I don't think so. I think probably Mason would have visited two years ago at the state of Chelsea for a lot of his career. I just think circumstances, his contract situation. I know he's got a big love for Chelsea. Also, in a modern day, I think more than even in my day, players do move. And I don't think, you know, the challenge of moving. Now it's come to that. For Mason personally, is a good challenge for him. I would have liked to send him to start Chelsea because I think he would have been central to it, but it didn't happen.

Closing Remarks

The last guest’s question (01:50:00)

We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest. And I have to say this is the longest question I've ever done left for anyone else. I think it's quite abstract as well. So we're both going to have to kind of figure this one out. But the question is, do you want to be surprised by this? When broken down to its roots or origin, the word enthusiasm begins with n theos, which means with God. For people who have not identified something which they are truly passionate about pursuing, can you suggest a way to cultivate that enthusiasm? It's a good decision. So I think the real question here is just in this line here, which is, for people who haven't identified something which they are truly passionate about pursuing, how do they go about that? Wow. Thanks for that one. Yeah, just to show us a little bit. This is a good point, actually, because my daughters now, my oldest daughters, they're getting her eye level results this summer. It's talking about you, but she doesn't really know what she wants to do. And I actually felt not bad. I went to school, obviously, but my pathway, looking back was like, fortunately, I didn't have to think about myself. So I haven't got any big answers for it. And also, I like from a modern woman, where is the path? What does she want to know? I asked that question if she's not sure which is completely understandable. So for me, I think for her, if we're flipping it there, maybe if it's a passion or not, but my thing, and it probably goes back to my roots, is to, the work ethic thing is what I say to her. It's to get out there and get in the workplace and meet people, because I think in the modern world, with my daughters are so engrossed in social media, they have a lot of answers about life. I don't agree with that one, but I'll let that one go. I don't agree with that. And then I start to feel like a dinosaur. But I do think that they kind of get caught up in that and all the answers are there. And I go, "We're going to do then?" And they go, "I don't know." And you kind of go, "Okay, well, fine. You've got all this information. It's the modern world. But what are you going to do? Go out and get a weekend job. If you're going to go to you and go out and experience what the real world is like, rather than this alternative world that you're slightly looking at." And then I think something might ignite it. So that was my end again. That's probably as deep as I could go, because I don't care where it is. You could be in a coffee shop. You could be in this shop or that shop or whatever. But this is my daughter's story, obviously. So it was more about getting out and meeting people. And I guess probably, and to bring that question back to me, myself going out on my comfort zone and leaving Chelsea to go to Manchester City and then living in New York for two years ignited a million things in me. And none of them were like big hobbies or something like that. It was just like, "Wow, there's a different world. A different culture. People who approach things with positivity and energy that I've never seen in England." And it changed my approach. So maybe my answer would be, "Come out of your comfort zone and do something which is different." I was fortunate to do it. I worked there. But I was living in probably what for me is possibly the best city in the world. And it changed me as a person. So maybe to get the passion, try something, take you so about the comfort zone and it might just appear for you. Makes perfect sense. And I think exactly what I heard there is that often when we're two within familiarity, we're not going to get the inspiration of what might be our passion if we're searching for it. But going to a New York or just getting out into the world and having experiences can lead us there. Frank, thank you so much for your time today. And thank you for doing this because I want to say, you are a man of your word because we were going to do this last time and you could have easily not done it. But you messaged me and said, "I want to get that back on because I said I would." And again, that's just another example of you just being a class act. The whole process of you canceling last time because you got the Chelsea job and then coming back. You've just been an absolute class act. You're a man where no one can question your integrity and your principles. And then on top of that, I see a man who is incredibly keen to work and do well in whatever he applies and does. And because of that, you've led this fantastic career both as a professional football player and as a manager, which is, I think, you're just halfway through. And there's this whole new season as you get up to 45 years time, you're going to be 90. I'm so excited to watch that story unfold because of all the wisdom you've garnered in the last 45. So thank you for being an inspiration to me for giving me so many great memories in football as an England player, less so as a Chelsea player. You guys were really fucking good through that period. But it's a real honour to get to know you and thank you for all you wisdom. Thank you very much. Thank you. If you've been listening to this podcast over the last few minutes, you'll know that we're sponsored and supported by Airbnb. But it amazes me how many people don't realise they could actually be sitting on their very own Airbnb. For me, as someone who works away a lot, it just makes sense to Airbnb my place at home whilst I'm away. If your job requires you to be away from home for extended periods of time, why leave your home empty? You can so easily turn your home into an Airbnb and let it generate income for you whilst you're on the road. 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