Apprentice and master will lock horns against each other again in Chelsea’s clash against Tottenham on Sunday and the pair’s unique relationship has made for fascinating viewing recently.
Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho will be fiercely entangled in a tussle again for the fifth time as managers during this evening’s massive clash between Chelsea and Tottenham. What an immensely exciting match to look forward to!
After learning tools of the trade under apprenticeship to his master and mentor, Mourinho, during his time as a player at Stamford Bridge, Lampard has managed to trump his former boss in three of the four matches between the pair so far.
And it is only fair to say the engaging dynamics between the two have evolved somewhat from when they worked together all those years ago as manager and player.mentor and apprentice.
Things started off on an amicable tone when Lampard’s Derby County stunned Mourinho’s Manchester United with a penalty shoot-out win in the Carabao Cup third round in 2018, after which Lampard was inducted into the Legends of Football Hall of Fame, prompting Mourinho to send his former protégé a video message.
In it, the Portuguese said:
“Obviously, it’s time for you Frank to think about your next career. As I told you at Old Trafford, only a manager with great potential can organize a team to play that way.
“I knew you were desperate to beat me. And you did. Though it was 2-2 after 90 minutes. You know what I feel for you. This award is more than deserved and it comes in the right moment.”
The respect, being clearly mutual then, was reciprocated by Lampard with a message saying:
“I was so honoured to be on the touchline with a man who affected my career so much.
“He was very welcome [in the dressing room] and very complimentary at the end about how the team play.”
Now however, in a delightful twist and turn of events since their respective managerial moves to bitter rivals Chelsea and Spurs, the niceties and endearments appear to have ceased between the two men.
Following a 2-0 win for Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last December, Lampard took offense with Mourinho’s sarcastic comments that Antonio Rudiger must have “broken his ribs” after he went down from a kick from Heung-min Son which saw the South Korean red carded.
Lampard was unhappy with the comments due to the fact Rudiger alleged he had received racist abuse during the game, and he snapped back at Mourinho:
“With Toni, in this incident when he’s having to post after the game about something we know is a huge deal [racism], I think to question his integrity in that time is disappointing for sure.”
In their most recent encounter master and former apprentice also clashed engagingly on the sidelines, with Lampard appearing to accuse his former boss of being too vocal.
After the game Lampard said:
“I commented on the fact that he seemed to speak to the referee more than his players.”
“With Frank, my feelings towards him will always be how much I owe him for being the friend and professional he was.”
But he then added, not without a touch of condescension:
“The only thing I was telling him, from an old coach to a young, talented coach, is when the players need us is when they are losing. When they are winning, we don’t need to be the protagonists.”
So will we see the excitement heighten with more explosive fireworks on Sunday as the banter between the two has continued to ramble on?
Mourinho has been ramping up the salacious mind games again as he recently suggested that Lampard should be under more pressure at Stamford Bridge considering the money the club spent in the summer.
“What I felt is that was when I was in these clubs, there was huge pressure on me and now there is not huge pressure on the coaches of these teams,” Mourinho said.
“Put a little bit of pressure on them and leave us in peace, doing our job.”
Lampard, however, seemingly unaffected has opted to play it cool, replying:
“We all have pressures as managers. Jose was here as a manager so he understands it. He went to Manchester United and would have understood the pressures there when you spend a lot of money. The pressures are huge.”
Strap yourselves in for the roller-coaster ride between the two on Sunday in this fascinating developing rivalry.