Joe Cole was not always convinced Frank Lampard would become a manager – but now believes he can win the title.
Cole shared a dressing room with Lampard during their glory days together at Stamford Bridge and has seen him mature from “silent leader” into Chelsea’s high-flying boss.
Lampard’s men are on a 15 game unbeaten run, they are third in the Premier League, two points off the top and qualified for the Champions League knock-out stages and Cole believes they can win the lot.
Chelsea legend Cole, 39, said: “Looking back now, I can say yes of course he was going to be a manager. But at the time, no. You’d have said other players.
“Frank wasn’t vocal, he led by example and was a silent leader. He did talk but not like some of the others.
“If you’d have said who would go first into management, I’d have said Didier Drogba, John Terry and Michael Ballack.
“But now you look at all the attributes – intelligence, man management, he’s so eloquent and he ticks all the boxes. I’m not surprised at all how well he’s doing.
“Frank won’t thank me for saying this, but they can win everything.
“If you’re an Arsenal, you can’t win the league. Nor Leicester. Chelsea are in the mix of three or four teams who can win the Premier League and five or six who can win the Champions League.
“It’s a better team than when they won the Champions League in 2012. Frank’s putting together a better team and that’s a big credit to him.
“They’re looking like a team, they’ve got the makings of a great team.
“I can see the winner of the Premier League coming from Chelsea, Spurs or Liverpool.
“Chelsea have got a massive chance. They’ll be there or thereabouts. I can’t say for sure they will do it but, in my opinion, there’s as good as the other two.
“It’ll be one of those three.”
Cole believes the real acid test of Lampard’s management was in the way he was able to make nine changes for the Champions League trip to Sevilla, bring in Olivier Giroud and still get a famous European victory.
And Cole believes Giroud’s form will haunt Arsenal for letting him go.
“Frank is so driven and so focused. Chelsea is a difficult club to manage, he’s done it the right way, cut his teeth at Derby and not put a foot wrong,” said Cole.
“Their win at Sevilla was brilliant. You had a lot of players coming in, you have to keep them all happy and Frank is clearly doing that. That’s really good management.
“Giroud is outstanding. Some people at Arsenal behind the scenes have to be accountable for letting him go. Was it age? But then they signed Willian and David Luiz.
“He’s a brilliant player, was for Arsenal, is now for Chelsea and he’s a model pro, a manager’s dream.”
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Cole has done his coaching badges, wants to become a manager one day in the future but is enjoying family life and his work in the media as a BT Sport pundit.
But Cole is also working as an ambassador for online trading company eToro who have done a survey revealing that three in four football fans have enjoyed football less in lockdown because of other distractions.
Cole believes it is time that, ahead of fans returning to stadiums this weekend, that football begins to appreciate and cherish fans more in the future.
Cole added: “We’ve learned how important fans are. You hope it reflects in ticket prices, the experience for fans in the stadium but also you look at the survey and three in four affecting their enjoyment.
“Football can be a respite but you’ve got work, the kids and it’s difficult to balance everything.”
Joe Cole is an eToro ambassador, speaking as part of eToro’s ‘Two Things at Once’ campaign. With eToro’s CopyTrader, you can copy top investors and live your best life at the same time. Find out more at www.etoro.com/copytrader/
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