Fresh from rubbing shoulders with royalty, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s attention turns to Newcastle as the Premier League returns.
The Blues are enjoying life under Lampard and find themselves in fifth place, two points behind second place Man City.
An enforced transfer ban from FIFA has meant the manager has had no choice but to play Chelsea’s younger players and they haven’t let the gaffer down.
As a result of their fine displays, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori were all called up to the England squad by first team manager Gareth Southgate for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
talkSPORTLampard spoke to talkSPORT’s Laura Woods in a wide ranging interview
And Lampard, who recently shared a couple of pints with Aston Villa-supporting Prince William and some England fans to watch the defeat to Czech Republic, was asked whether he considered seeking a royal pardon for the ban, which lasts until next summer.
Laughing, he told Laura Woods: “Maybe he would have turned me down – he probably thought I might try and buy John McGinn or something!”
While Lampard was clearly joking, 25-year-old midfielder McGinn has won many admirers this season for Villa and it is even claimed Sir Alex Ferguson believes Man United missed a trick by not signing him, while Alan Brazil has talked up the Scotland international.
As part of their pub chat – a Heads Up charity initiative – Lampard revealed he spent part of the evening attempting to convince William’s son, George, to support the Blues.
“It was surreal really. I’m a big fan of the Royals, I’m a big fan of William himself, and he didn’t disappoint. He was great on the night, speaking to everybody. He’s a great personality and has a great way about him. It was a nice night,” he said.
“We had that conversation [about Villa]. I couldn’t understand why [the royals don’t support Chelsea].
“I asked why he supported Villa and he said it was because of a game he watched when he was younger and he felt that was the right thing to do. Then he’s obviously passed that down. I made a small attempt to get him [George] on the Chelsea side.
“He did say George came home from school to say all his friends support Chelsea, but he’s going to hold firm and be a Villa fan.
“He was great value. I’ve got great respect for him.”Wills a Villan
In May 2015, William explained how he came to support Villa.
“A long time ago at school I got into football big time. I was looking around for clubs. All my friends at school were either Man United fans or Chelsea fans and I didn’t want to follow the run of the mill teams.
“I wanted to have a team that was more mid-table that could give me more emotional rollercoaster moments.
“Aston Villa’s always had a great history. I have got friends of mine who support Aston Villa and one of the first FA Cup games I went to was Bolton v Aston Villa [semi-final] back in 2000. Sadly, Villa went on to lose to Chelsea [in the final].
“It was fantastic, I sat with all the fans with my red beanie on, and I was sat with all the Brummie fans and had a great time.
“It was the atmosphere, the camaraderie and I really felt that there was something I could connect with.”
You can catch Frank Lampard’s interview with Laura Woods on GameDay from 11am on Saturday, ahead of our three LIVE Premier League commentaries