Frank Lampard: 'It Will Be Special' Facing Jose Mourinho in Spurs vs. Chelsea

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Frank Lampard of Derby County looks on during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Derby County at Old Trafford on September 25, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said it will be "special" for him to come up against his former Blues coach Jose Mourinho on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur, who are now managed by Mourinho, will welcome Chelsea in the Premier League for a crucial fixture this weekend. Much of the focus will be on the coaches, though, with Lampard and the Spurs boss having worked together to great effect previously.

Speaking to BBC's Football Focus, Lampard said there'll be an extra edge to what is already a fiery rivalry between the two London clubs:

"I think it will be special. I think it will make a difference to me, I think it will make a difference to him.

"We're both professionals, we're driven, and sometimes when you come across someone you worked with or a club that you worked with, it pushes you on that little bit more in the best possible way. 

"And it's Tottenham-Chelsea, that game has enough anyway. And then you have Jose Mourinho there. And he's going to be desperate to beat us, let's make no bones."

Here is more about what Lampard had to say ahead of the showdown in the capital:

BBC Sport @BBCSport

Frank Lampard takes Chelsea to Tottenham on Sunday - and it's going to be extra special 👀 "He's going to be desperate to beat us." #TOTCHE #Spurs #bbcfootball #ChelseaFC #thfc https://t.co/j5KcocxyM6

The Chelsea boss added that he wasn't totally surprised to see Mourinho take the Tottenham job, with many in world football shocked at Spurs' decision to appoint the Portuguese as the successor to Mauricio Pochettino.

"I think his personality—and his record—is something that needs to be in top-level football," continued the Chelsea boss. "So having Jose back is obviously going to mix it right up in the Premier League."

As managers, the pair have come up against one another previously, with Lampard's Derby County shocking Mourinho's Manchester United side in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford last season:

Lampard developed into one of the best players in the world under Mourinho; in the Portuguese's first spell at the club, Chelsea won two Premier League titles, as well as one FA Cup and two League Cups.

While a bond clearly exists between the pair, Lampard will be intent on earning a result at Tottenham on Sunday.

Per Liam Twomey of The Athletic, Chelsea have hit a rut of form as of late:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

One win and four defeats in Lampard's last five PL games. Great performance from Bournemouth but Chelsea are stumbling towards the January transfer window - with Spurs and Mourinho next up #cfc

Football writer Dan Levene picked up on a number of issues with the Blues team following last weekend's 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth:

Dan Levene @danlevene

Not good enough from Chelsea. This, similar to the game against West Ham, should have been a routine three points. The team is a work in progress. But the lack of direct attacking threat, and the lack of impact from changes, needs fixing.

Getting back to winning ways will be a challenge for Chelsea in north London, as Mourinho has been able to rejuvenate Tottenham. Going into this encounter, Spurs are just three points behind the Blues, who sit in fourth place in the Premier League table.

Should Chelsea find the form they showed earlier in the season, they will give Tottenham plenty to think about, especially given the issues Spurs are still having at the back. It will be a test of Lampard's managerial acumen to set up his side to get a positive result from this fixture.