Frank Lampard Contests Raheem Sterling’s Assertions About Managers


raheem sterling

Ahead of their crunch clash later tonight, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling are in a miniature war of words. It started when Sterling, a very socially conscious footballer who is never afraid to speak his mind on social issues, discussed the lack of Black leadership figures in football.

To make his point, which is totally spot on, he mentioned the high percentage of players who are black.

“There’s something like 500 players in the Premier League and a third of them are Black and we have no representation in the hierarchy, no representation of us in the coaching staffs,” Sterling said while appearing on BBC Newsnight earlier this month.

“There’s Steven Gerrard, your Frank Lampards, you have your Sol Campbells and you have your Ashley Coles. All had great careers, all played for England. At the same time, they’ve all respectfully done their coaching badges to coach at the highest level and the two that haven’t been given the right opportunities are the two Black former players.”

Yesterday, Lampard hit back, saying that Raheem Sterling was simply making a broad sweeping generalization. While Lampard applauded Sterling’s bravery in speaking out and using the platform that he has to address serious social issues, he said the winger got it wrong.

Naturally, Lampard wasn’t a fan of someone questioning the meritocracy element of his career arc.

“I think in the actual case of managers, I think he got it, from my point of view, slightly wrong, because it felt like a very casual comparison,” Lampard responded.

“Because if you compare opportunities and pathways of individual managers, you can compare myself, you can compare Steven, you can compare Sol, who by the way did an incredible job at Macclesfield and the job now at Southend is tough, it’s one all of us would find difficult to do.

“Then you can compare Ashley Cole who finished his career last year with me at Derby, and is working away here [as Chelsea academy coach] with me and doing a great job, and I think he’s going to be successful whatever he wants to do.

“So I think it’s very hard to make that comparison from the outside.”

Lampard and Sterling are former teammates on the English national team, and it’s more likely they smooth this disagreement out, rather than escalate into a full blown row.

Manchester City at Chelsea FC FYIs

Kickoff: 8:15 pm, Thursday June 25, Stamford Bridge, London

Starting XI Predictions:   Manchester City

Team News for both sides: go to this link

Restart Season Previews: Chelsea    Manchester City

Chelsea Premier League form: DLWDWW
Chelsea form (all competitions): WLDWWW

Man City Premier League form: LWWLWW
Man City form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Prediction: Manchester City 3, Chelsea FC 2

Having watched City in the two games they’ve played since Project Restart took hold, it’s hard to pick against them right now, even if it is a road match at a top four side.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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