Roy can win it like Chelsea… and I only hope I can be a part of it, says Lampard
21:41 GMT, 30 May 2012
After what just happened at Chelsea, following an extraordinary climax to an extraordinary season, Frank Lampard is inclined to believe that a late change in manager might not be such a bad thing for England.
There is upheaval. There is a sense that the man in charge has so much to do and so little time to do it.
As Lampard said, Roberto Di Matteo had precious little time to revive a team that had lost 3-1 in Naples and somehow mastermind a stunning victory in the second leg of that Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge.
All smiles: Lampard has likened the situation at England to Chelsea
In Lampard, however, indeed in every Chelsea player now with the England squad at their Hertfordshire base, you will not find a player who sees Roy Hodgson's sudden arrival as something that will necessarily hinder their chances of success at this summer's European Championship.
Lampard recognises the fact that Hodgson has been parachuted into the job. Just as he accepts that he was unveiled at Wembley '40 days and 40 nights' before England's opening group encounter with France on June 11 and it was only on Tuesday that he finally got his full squad together. But Lampard is optimistic.
'It's certainly possible to create something very quickly,' he said. 'There's no magic formula in football. You can have the right preparation and the surroundings for a tournament.
Silverware: Lampard celebrates with the Champions League trophy in Munich
'But in my opinion man-management is of the utmost importance in top football these days. When you've got a very good squad of players, of course there's training and tactics and stuff which are important. But the man-management issue at Chelsea was the huge thing.
'Robbie took players aside and talked to them and made them feel confident. He brought the best out of them, and when you can do that you've got a chance. If England can do that as a group then I still think we've got a great chance.'
So has Hodgson got enough time to do that 'I certainly think so,' said Lampard. 'At Chelsea Robbie did it in a matter of weeks, to beat Napoli and all that. We've got very good players in the squad, so it's not so much a matter of time. The fact that expectations are lower because of that might work in our favour.'
Here for the ride: Lampard has been impressed by the new England boss
Hodgson certainly seems to be doing the right things. There was the rousing speech on Tuesday; the personal visits to senior players before he named his squad. He has also been astute in making sure his captain and his finest player are happy, not least by telling Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney that they will be playing in the positions they consider their best. Central midfield for Gerrard, the No 10 role for Rooney.
But as Lampard said this week, Hodgson also impressed the Chelsea contingent by visiting their dressing room after that stunning Champions League final win in Munich.
'I wouldn't want to divulge details of the conversation,' said Lampard. 'But he came in the dressing room to say well done and that he was looking forward to seeing us next week.
'It was very much a “Well done and congratulations”, which we appreciated from the new England manager. But he didn't have to do that.'
Leading from the front: Lampard trains with the rest of the England squad on Wednesday
Lampard would like to think the success the Chelsea players have enjoyed, and the manner in which it has been achieved – as underdogs against Barcelona and Bayern Munich – will have a positive effect on England in Poland and Ukraine.
'I hope so,' he said. 'We felt an amazing change in ourselves at Chelsea by tackling Barcelona in the way we did, and then by beating Bayern Munich. So hopefully we can carry that on in ourselves and influence players around us. I think we've got a group of big players who can play without that anxiety.'
Old-age debate: Lampard insists he can play with Gerrard
Lampard will be anxious about his place at the Euros after picking up an injury yesterday, but he's happy to be part of the squad after a stop-start season.
He said: 'I wasn't playing regularly for Chelsea and if you're not playing then you wonder if you'll be out. I took nothing for granted and it just shows you how football can turn, not just for myself but a few in the squad who might have been out of the picture a few months ago.'
If he's fit and able, Lampard still believes he can play with Gerrard, despite the lack of balance they have so often suffered from as a partnership in the past.
'I think, yes,' he said. 'That's the headline straight away! I'm not going to say no and talk myself out of the team. The problem is, for it to be called a successful partnership England need to have a very good run in a big tournament.'
In Chelsea's Champions League run Lampard did display an ability to perform the deeper, more defensive role.
'I've enjoyed the workload, making blocks and tracking back as much as trying to get up and score,' he said.
'If I can find a way of mixing that, if I'm asked to contribute, that's good. 'But I wouldn't want to take away the idea that I can score goals because that's always what I've tried to do. With age and experience you have to change. Whether I'll become a big holding midfield player, I'm not so sure.'
But first there's the issue of today's all-important scan.