EPL

Lampard philosophical about changing Mourinho relationship

By Sports Desk November 27, 2020

Frank Lampard is philosophical about the evolution of his relationship with his former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and insists the pair remain "cordial".

Once upon a time, Lampard was the lynchpin of Mourinho's Blues side that won two Premier League titles, as many EFL Cups and an FA Cup during the Portuguese's first stint in charge at Stamford Bridge.

In the here and now, Lampard is in the Chelsea dugout while Mourinho is in charge of Premier League leaders Tottenham, with the London rivals set to square off on Sunday with just two points and two places separating the teams.

From the outside there has been a certain frostiness between the two parties, including a tense touchline exchange as Spurs defeated Chelsea on penalties in an EFL Cup tie back in September.

There was also an apparent dig made by Mourinho after a 2-0 loss to Lampard's side in the Premier League last December, when making reference to the "Conte system" employed by his opposite number.

Lampard was keen to stress his respect for Mourinho, though, and explained changes in dynamics are part and parcel of football.

"I don't know, I wouldn't say it's changed it that much, when I left Chelsea in 2014 I think it is, I moved on and my life went in different directions," Lampard said. 

"Generally when you go in different directions you're so consumed and busy in your lives your relationship changes, so it changed and we were always very cordial.

"If I see Jose, if I talk about him, sending messages between each other, we've always had a good relationship on that front. 

"I think just naturally now when we are doing the cut-throat of being managers of these clubs that are rivals it does change the relationship – not in a bad way we've got no problem with it or I certainly haven't. 

"We're very competitive people, we always want to do well. When I speak about Jose I always show how much respect I have for him in all senses, I've always had that back from him and that's where it is."

The game against Tottenham will be Chelsea's 1,000th since Roman Abramovich's takeover of the club 17 years ago.

Lampard has experienced much of that period as a player and a manager and it was put to the Chelsea boss there may be a feeling among the club's rivals that the Blues' success in the time since has been bought.

The former England midfielder replied: "That might have been a reaction in early years because we made a difference and invested to a level probably in that short period when we first came, and Jose Mourinho's first years, we invested and moved up the table because we added quality to the squad. 

"I think if you look at top end of Premier League now and how the Premier League has developed, you can look at our spending in the last couple of seasons you can absolutely compare it with Tottenham and Arsenal in terms of players coming in and out of the clubs. 

"Then you can also look at Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City and what they've done and I think I've reeled off five or six clubs at least that are spending a lot of money. 

"Teams that get promoted into the Premier League now spend around £100million so I think it's an argument that's changed in time. 

"But as much as you can invest in football you only win things through pure hard work and personnel on the ground."

Related items

  • Resurgent Stones went 'back to basics' to regain form and confidence Resurgent Stones went 'back to basics' to regain form and confidence

    John Stones has explained his decision to go "back to basics" in a bid to rediscover his form for Manchester City.

    Stones scored twice – his third brace for club and country – in City's 4-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    The win, City's fifth in succession in the top flight, sent Pep Guardiola's team into second place above defending champions Liverpool, who could only draw with leaders Manchester United at Anfield.

    Though Palace, shorn of the injured Wilfried Zaha, were hardly a threat, Stones and his centre-back partner Ruben Dias were rock solid as City gave boss Guardiola an early birthday present the day before he turns 50.

    City are the first team to record five consecutive victories in the Premier League this season, while in the 10 games Stones and Dias have started together in all competitions, Guardiola's side have claimed nine wins, one draw and conceded just once.

    Stones, a big-money signing from Everton in 2016, appeared to be surplus to requirements after an injury-hit 2019-20 campaign, with the 26-year-old handed just 12 league starts.

    However, his first Premier League goals for City – and his first in the top flight since he netted for Everton against United in April 2015 – have capped off a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.

    "We knew it was a tough game today. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get goals. I need to contribute by getting those goals," Stones told Sky Sports.

    "I'm just trying to keep improving, building day by day on the training pitch, give a platform for the lads to express themselves up the pitch and get some goals.

    "We're taking great pride in it, keeping clean sheets, it's what we're there to do. Hopefully we can keep the run going, keep as many clean sheets as we can because we know how vital they are in big games and in games like today.

    "We know what'll happen if we keep getting them. We don't have to go out and score four or five goals every week. We've done it when it's 1-0 and we've fought right until the 90th minute. We kind of take the credit at the back but we've got to give credit to the whole team."

    Asked how tough it had got when he was out of the side, Stones replied: "Very. It's always tough when you're not playing and you don't get a run of games, and when you do you don't perform to what you can do because maybe you've put too much pressure on yourself.

    "I've gone back to basics, looked at myself first, looked at what I can improve on in every aspect. 

    "You need to look yourself in the mirror and ask if I'm doing everything for myself and for the team and I did that, kept working hard, kept the faith and grinding away, keep trying to improve and I still am now. I don't think you ever stop improving yourself."

    Stones' first goal was a glancing header from Kevin De Bruyne's sensational outside-of-the-boot cross – the Belgium midfielder's 100th assist for City.

    "Kevin's done it over the seasons that I've been here," Stones said.

    "I remember a few, off the top of my head, to Leroy [Sane] when he was here, some outrageous passes that you just don't know how he's done it.

    "As he's put the ball in I knew it was coming straight to me. It's something we can only dream of and Kev can just do it when he wants."

  • Inter 2-0 Juventus: Vidal and Barella dent Pirlo's title defence Inter 2-0 Juventus: Vidal and Barella dent Pirlo's title defence

    Inter dealt a blow to Juventus' Serie A title defence and moved level on points with leaders Milan by securing a 2-0 victory at San Siro on Sunday.

    Former Juve midfielder Arturo Vidal opened his Inter account with a 12th-minute header and Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku wasted chances to increase the Nerazzurri's lead.

    The Bianconeri were unable to make the most of those reprieves as an emphatic finish at the end of a route-one move saw Nicolo Barella double Inter's advantage.

    It was enough to give Antonio Conte a first Serie A win against Juve – the club he led to three straight Scudetti at the start of their ongoing run of dominance – and move the hosts level with Milan, who play their game in hand against Cagliari on Monday.

    Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal correctly ruled out for offside but there was no doubt about Vidal's opener a minute later, as the Chile international rose above Danilo to nod Barella's delivery into the left corner.

    Martinez should have doubled Inter's lead in the 23rd minute when he blazed over with the goal gaping after Wojciech Szczesny parried Lukaku's shot straight to him.

    Striker Martinez again failed to hit the target with his next opening, while Lukaku placed an effort from Barella's cutback too close to Szczesny before half-time.

    Inter finally had a second goal in the 52nd minute, Barella surging into a huge gap in the Juve defence and firing Alessandro Bastoni's ambitious pass into the roof of the net.

    Andrea Pirlo responded by sending on Dejan Kulusevski, Federico Bernardeschi and Weston McKennie but Federico Chiesa had their best effort in the 87th minute.

    Samir Handanovic kept out Chiesa's powerful drive with a superb reaction as Inter held on for an important victory.

    What does it mean? Juve with ground to make up

    Juve would have closed to within a point of Inter if they triumphed at San Siro, and they would have still had a game in hand on Conte's men and Milan.

    However, they missed their chance to make up ground and are now seven points adrift of Inter.

    They will find themselves 10 points off the top if Milan win on Monday, meaning winning their game in hand would still not put them firmly in the title picture.

    Brilliant Barella

    Italy international Barella put in a livewire performance against the reigning champions, creating a game-high three chances – including the assist for Vidal's goal – and producing an emphatic finish early in the second half. After managing one goal and four assists in Serie A last season, he has already scored twice and set up five more in the league in 2020-21.

    Vidal sparks controversy

    Pre-game footage showed Vidal embracing Giorgio Chiellini and kissing the Juve badge on his warm-up top. He may have followed it up by scoring his first Serie A goal since clinching the title for Juve in May 2015, but his muted celebrations led to much discussion about where his loyalties lie.

    What's next?

    Juve face Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana on Wednesday, while Inter travel to Udinese in Serie A on Saturday.

  • Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace: Stones at the double as Guardiola's men march into second Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace: Stones at the double as Guardiola's men march into second

    John Stones scored twice as Manchester City moved into second place in the Premier League by sweeping aside Crystal Palace 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

    With league leaders Manchester United and defending champions Liverpool sharing the spoils in a goalless stalemate at Anfield, City took full advantage to move within two points of first place.

    On top of another top-class defensive display alongside Ruben Dias, Stones broke the deadlock 26 minutes in with his first league goal for City – Kevin De Bruyne the creator with a sensational cross to bring up his 100th assist for the club.

    Ilkay Gundogan doubled the lead early in the second half prior to Stones celebrating an unlikely second, and a classy finish from Raheem Sterling wrapped up a fifth successive league win for Pep Guardiola's ever-improving City.

    In search of his milestone moment, De Bruyne attempted to tee up Sterling with a quick exchange of passes in the 26th minute, when the Belgian might have been better served to shoot.

    Yet his 100th assist did not take long to arrive. His initial poor corner was cleared, but De Bruyne was found by Sterling and, with the outside of his right foot, placed a wonderful cross onto the head of Stones, who turned in his first league goal since he scored for Everton in April 2015.

    Gabriel Jesus was unable to beat Vicente Guaita after latching onto Gundogan's flick-on, but the Germany midfielder took matters into his own hands 11 minutes after the restart, robbing Andros Townsend on the edge of Palace's box and dispatching a fantastic finish into the top-right corner.

    Jordan Ayew mustered Palace's second shot soon after, though it was blocked by Dias, who then played a key part in City's third.

    Dias' header was parried out by Guaita, but the Portuguese's defensive partner Stones was on hand to drill in his second.

    Sterling had the final say, the England forward – who missed a late penalty against Brighton and Hove Albion – curling a sublime free-kick into the top corner to add further gloss to a resounding triumph.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.