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Why Mourinho Should Take Notes From Lampard

"Football has left Mourinho behind". This was the exact statement floating on Twitter among football fans after Tottenham'...


"Football has left Mourinho behind". This was the exact statement floating on Twitter among football fans after Tottenham's UEFA Champions League Round 16 exit to Leipzig. It wasn't completely unexpected.

On 20 November 2019, Mourinho was appointed as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year contract, replacing the sacked Mauricio Pochettino. As much as some sectors of the football world thought this was low hanging fruit for both parties but especially for Mourinho, this appointment was met with a lot of expectations. Why? Jose Mário dos Santos Mourinho remains one of the greatest managers to ever manage a football game. It's not even debatable.

Trophies? Check. Moments? Check. Personality? Check. Controversy? Double Check.

It was clearly an upgrade from a perennial underachiever in Poch to a serial winner in Mou.
No disrespect to Poch. But nobody cares about second place. Or 3rd or 4th. Unless you're Arsenal, and *inserts cough* Tottenham. Winning and trophies are what counts and modern day football is especially cutthroat about these two. Hello Chelsea!

Poch couldn't win a trophy despite the array of talent at his  disposal. And we can go on and on defending his legacy but the  hard truth is Mourinho was brought in to clean the mess. But where did it all go wrong for the self proclaimed Special One? Tottenham's injury crisis has left them significantly short. Mourinho has consistently complained of the injury crisis he's had to face at Tottenham. And it's worth noting when you consider Tottenham's highest 
goalscorers Kane and Son are both out injured. So also is Moussa  Sissoko, Ben Davies, Juan Marcos Foyth, and new wonderboy Steven Bergwijn.

Add an error prone Lloris to the cocktail, a deflated Dele Alli, the old and tired pair of Vertonghen and Alderweireld who aren't  the rock solid presence they used to be anymore, a shaky Sanchez and an out of sorts Erik Lamela.

Even star signing Tanguy Ndombele hasn't hit the ground running. Christian Eriksen's transfer to Inter adding salt to injury. In a twist of irony, Mourinho has had to depend on youth. Incredible. Although some people would say he's using youth because of Tottenham's injury crisis. But we could even say the same thing about Frank Lampard at Chelsea. And that's up for debate.

Aside from getting schooled tactically over their last 3 meetings, what if Jose Mourinho still has a lot to learn from his pupil Frank Lampard? Although it's unusual to suggest that someone with Mourinho's pedigree still has something to learn from a relative newcomer like Lampard, the ever-changing dynamic world of football suggests the contrary. There's always something to teach. There's always something to learn. 

In terms of personnel, Frank Lampard has managed his squad admirably. Coming into a new season losing your best player and one of the best players in the world in Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Losing unassuming superstar midfielder Ngolo Kante to the treatment table over persistent injuries throughout the season. Loftus-Cheek is still fighting for match fitness. Hazard's heir apparent in either Pulisic or Hudson-Odoi have made countless trips with the medical staff. Senior squad players like Giroud and Pedro have had to fight off one niggle or another struggling to stay fit in the process. Kovacic had to be helped off the field in the victory. Chelsea is sitting pretty in the top 3 of the Premier League injury list. And somehow Chelsea is still in the hunt for top four. Say what you might of the performances of the teams around them, but for a manager in his debut season at a high profile job like Chelsea's and with all the challenges he's had to overcome Frank Lampard has done admirably well. And maybe this is what Mourinho has to learn.

But we are all clearly forgetting Jose Mourinho made some really courageous statements in his first press conference as Tottenham manager, but perhaps the comment that stood out was his pledge to give youth players a chance. A commitment totally unlike Mourinho which Lampard embodies.

It's on record that he has always preferred the tested and tried. Critics still say Mourinho's last 2 jobs are indicators he has lost what made him The Special One.The fallout at Chelsea and the debacle at Manchester United. But is it really true? Or are we being too harsh? Too quick to judge? These were failures that came rewarded with trophies in between. A typical Mourinho disasterclass.

When a talented footballer hits a rough patch, it's common to hear  words like "form is temporary and class is permanent" in a bid to defend their situation. Can we say the same for coaches? Or is this where the story ends? Is Jose Mourinho about to be another Arsene Wenger?

Written by - @ucheokorolive

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