Scottish Daily Mail

HEAT IS ON YOU

Mour­inho taunts Lam­pard be­fore derby show­down

- By MATT BAR­LOW Sports · Soccer · Soccer Business · Chelsea F.C. · Chelsea · Hotel Chelsea · José Mourinho · Stamford Bridge stadium · Arsenal F.C. · London · Tottenham Hotspur Football Club · Tottenham · Chelsea · Frank Lampard · Manchester United F.C. · Manchester · Real Madrid F.C. · Madrid · F.C. Internazionale Milano · A.C. Milan · Milan · Eden Hazard · York City F.C. · New York City · New York · Manchester City Football Club · Etihad Stadium · Antonio Conte · White Hart Lane · Kurt Zouma · Thiago Emiliano da Silva · Timo Werner · Roman Abramovich · Arsene Wenger · Antonio Rüdiger · Mason Mount · Reece James · Tammy Abraham · Hakim Ziyech

ONE thou­sand matches into the Chelsea rev­o­lu­tion u n d e r Ro­man Abramovich and, right on cue, Jose Mour­inho is back on the scene at Stam­ford Bridge.

Last time he was in­volved in a land­mark on this scale in SW6, he was in the blue corner de­mol­ish­ing Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arse­nal and how he en­joyed that one.

Mour­inho cel­e­brated Chelsea’s sixth goal in a 6-0 win as if it was the first, such was the fe­roc­ity of his re­la­tion­ship with Wenger.

To­mor­row he ar­rives for an­other Lon­don derby with his Tot­ten­ham side hint­ing at a ti­tle chal­lenge and signs of nascent ri­valry de­vel­op­ing with Chelsea’s head coach Frank Lam­pard.

Mour­inho likes to en­gage with his ri­vals and yes­ter­day he launched the mind games with his former player by in­sist­ing the ti­tle pres­sure should be on big-spenders such as Chelsea and not on him at Tot­ten­ham.

The man who had two spells with Abramovich and jobs at Manch­ester United, Real Madrid and In­ter Mi­lan, said: ‘When you are favourites you know why you are favourites. You must accept that and you must deal with that pres­sure and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

‘I was at clubs which were, let’s say, “cham­pi­ons in the mar­ket” be­cause of pow­er­ful in­vest­ment. I had to deal with that pres­sure. So now it’s not for me to deal with it.

‘When I was at th­ese clubs, there was huge pres­sure on me. Now there is not huge pres­sure on the coaches of th­ese teams. Put a lit­tle bit of pres­sure on them.’

Chelsea be­came the first English side to spend £230mil­lion in one trans­fer win­dow this year, an out­lay that fol­lowed a trans­fer ban and the sale of Eden Haz­ard to Real Madrid in a deal worth up to £150m.

Lam­pard re­sponded to Mour­inho by say­ing: ‘If you look at the spend­ing over the last cou­ple of sea­sons, what Tot­ten­ham did in the sum­mer and what they’ve done in this break, com­pared to us, you will see it has been a very sim­i­lar out­put.

‘The only thing that will get you suc­cess i s hard work. The pres­sures are huge any­way. The pres­sures at Tot­ten­ham will be big, be­cause Jose built a fan­tas­tic s quad and has i ncred­i­ble play­ers.

‘It’s very com­pa­ra­ble if you look at the spend­ing for sure, since I have been at Chelsea.’

This pair were once good for each other. Mour­inho con­vinced Lam­pard he could con­quer the world by ti ming runs f rom mid­field and Lam­pard re­sponded with goals to help cl i nch Mour­inho’s first Pre­mier League ti­tle in 2005.

Yet it is no­table how Lam­pard has re­sisted the urge to gush about Mour­inho’s in­flu­ence since mov­ing into man­age­ment.

‘ Gen­er­ally, when you go in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, you are so busy that re­la­tion­ships change, so it changed,’ he said yes­ter­day. ‘We were al­ways very cor­dial — if I see Jose, if I talk about him, if we send mes­sages be­tween each other. We have al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship on that front.

‘Nat­u­rally, now, when we are in the cut-throat end of things in th­ese clubs that are ri­vals, it does change a re­la­tion­ship. But not in a bad way. We’ve got no prob­lem with i t. I cer­tainly haven’t.

‘We are very com­pet­i­tive peo­ple. We both want to do well. When I speak about Jose, I al­ways show how much re­spect I have for him in all senses. I have al­ways got that back from him.’

The re­la­tion­ship shifted when Mour­inho re­turned to Stam­ford Bridge in 2013.

Lam­pard’s con­tract was not re­newed, a year later, and, at al­most 36, he joined New York City, one of Manch­ester City’s global net­work of clubs be­fore quickly mov­ing on loan to the

Eti­had Sta­dium, and scor­ing an equaliser against Mour­inho’s team as the Chelsea fans sang his name.

As a man­ager, Lam­pard has a good record against the Por­tuguese and has been con­fi­dent enough to en­gage in t he i nevitable off- t he - f i el d squab­bles. He hit back when Mour­inho claimed he was cloning An­to­nio Conte’s back-three sys­tem ahead of the fiery clash at White Hart Lane when He­ung-min Son was sent off and An­to­nio Rudi­ger heard racist abuse in the stands.

They also bick­ered i n the tech­ni­cal area, in the Carabao Cup in Septem­ber, when Mour­inho told Lam­pard to sit down when his team were win­ning and stand up when they needed him.

There’s noth­ing wrong with a bit of nee­dle and Lam­pard does not lack com­pet­i­tive courage. He con­fronted ev­ery chal­lenge as a player and looks de­ter­mined to do the same in his new ca­reer. So far, so good. His first season at Chelsea must be deemed a suc­cess. Fail­ure to win a tro­phy rarely goes down well with Abramovich but, af­ter a sum­mer when Haz­ard was sold in the midst of a trans­fer ban, he qual­i­fied f or the Cham­pi­ons League and nur­tured tal­ent from the academy.

At this early stage of his sec­ond season, there are fur­ther pos­i­tive signs with his sum­mer sign­ings set­tling into a sys­tem with­out los­ing the young play­ers who helped re­store the club’s iden­tity.

Ma­son Mount and Reece James are firmly in his plans. Tammy Abra­ham has forced his way back into con­tention. Young Scot Billy Gil­mour was im­pres­sive be­fore his in­jury and Kurt Zouma is the pre­ferred cen­tral de­fen­sive part­ner for Thi­ago Silva.

At the back, Silva and keeper Edouard Mendy have tight­ened a leaky de­fence. Else­where, N’Golo Kante is back in a cen­tral po­si­tion, Timo Werner is threat­en­ing from the left and Hakim Ziyech has ex­celled since re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury in pre-season.

Pre­cisely where record sign­ing Kai Havertz fits in is not yet clear but Chelsea are now a bal­anced out­fit.

As are Spurs, top of the Pre­mier League go­ing into the week­end, and two points bet­ter off.

 ??  ?? Di­vide: Mour­inho (left) and Lam­pard clash in the Carabao Cup tie in Septem­ber
Di­vide: Mour­inho (left) and Lam­pard clash in the Carabao Cup tie in Septem­ber
 ??  ?? Deadly duo: Lam­pard and Mour­inho win the ti­tle with Chelsea in 2005
Deadly duo: Lam­pard and Mour­inho win the ti­tle with Chelsea in 2005
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