Bubbly Jody Morris is the secret ingredient in the success of Frank Lampard as his assistant at Chelsea
DANNY MURPHY: Bubbly Jody Morris is the secret ingredient in the success of Frank Lampard as his assistant at Chelsea
- When Frank Lampard left Derby for Chelsea, he took Jody Morris with him
- The assistant proves his worth in Stamford Bridge, although he is still young
- Lampard deserves honor for faith in youth, but Morris also thrives in the club
Young managers usually want a wise old owl next to them for experience. Frank Lampard has caught up with the trend by appointing a right-hand man six months younger than himself and Jody Morris has been the unsung hero of the Chelsea season so far.
If you had told a Chelsea fan in August that they would be in the top four in February and in the final stages of the Champions League and FA Cup, they would think you were crazy, as Frank and Jody went through the door they could not draw anyone and had just lost their best player in Eden Hazard.
Frank has rightly received recognition for his confidence in youth and three of his young Englishmen – Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi – should be in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 team, with Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Ruben Loftus – Cheek outside of chances.
Jody Morris has become an integral part of Frank Lampard’s back room team at Chelsea
Chelsea also had to deal with the loss of star player Eden Hazard who joined Real Madrid
But I’m sure the manager would be the first to acknowledge that it would not have been possible without Jody’s input. As a Chelsea Under 18s coach, he helped them win five FA Youth Cups in a row – the best run since the legendary Busby Babes of Manchester United – and now some of those players are making waves at the top.
I have known Jody for a long time and he has always been a funny, fascinating and warm personality. You get to know someone when you spend six weeks with them in Malaysia on a World Cup Under 20s and Jody was present about him; trust in his own abilities and a natural leader.
I am sure those qualities have been important in the development of the Chelsea players. He knows the game tactically, but it is the belief that he has given those young players what is most important.
The rise of the young stars of Chelsea is due to the hard work of the two coaches
Mount and Abraham did well in the championship last season, but transferring that to a club like Chelsea, with all expectations, is particularly impressive.
Abraham scored 15 goals this season and kept a world cup winner, Olivier Giroud, out of the team. Mount has been ahead of Jack Grealish and James Maddison in the plans of England and we know how talented they are.
Frank is a strong person and becomes the boss. But Jody can sometimes play the right agent. He has a contagious personality that will wake everyone up. But don’t get me wrong, he was also a persistent little player and won’t mind digging people out when needed.
Morris and Lampard first worked together as a coach at Derby County championship club
He knows the young guys at Chelsea as people and as players – Hudson-Odoi was the star of their last FA Youth Cup triumph two years ago – and he and Frank showed that they were a good partnership in Derby last season when they played the game made offs.
If you ask him for a favor, he will try to help without hitting an eyelid. Frank can count on his loyalty and his knowledge of Chelsea as a club. And because he has had to overcome setbacks in his own career, that will help him guide the young players at Stamford Bridge.
The record books show that Chelsea has won only one of their five league games this year, but it is not as if their performance was poor.
Unlike Manchester United, their opponents on Monday, they rarely have thrown a listless 90 minutes. They have a six point advantage over the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer team and finish earlier in the top four.
After the winter break, Chelsea has the chance to correct their bad recent form
Given that some predicted a mid-table finish when they lost Hazard, Frank and Jody can give themselves 8/10 if Chelsea qualifies again for the Champions League and goes even further in one of the cup competitions.
The transfer embargo has probably done the club a favor in the long run. Their youngsters have played more games than would normally be expected and have shown themselves to be capable. They have a clearly defined way of playing, something I am sure it has a lot to do with Jody’s coaching. It is a great experience to also do it at Champions League level, qualifying from a group before Valencia.
One day I think Jody would be interested to see how he is doing as No1. At the moment, he and Frank are the dream team, even though they are the same age.