According to Derby County manager Frank Lampard, Jose Mourinho is still ‘The Special One’
Rookie boss Lampard takes his Derby side to Old Trafford on Tuesday night insisting the under-fire Manchester United boss still has the right stuff.
Mourinho finds himself under increasing pressure after last season’s second place finish and an indifferent start to this campaign.
Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Wolves saw £90m midfield star Paul Pogba criticise Mourinho’s tactics.
Frank Lampard takes his Derby side to Old Trafford on Tuesday
But Chelsea legend Lampard reckons there has never been any doubt in his mind about Mourinho’s managerial powers and they are still as strong as ever.
The former midfielder said, “In terms of ‘The Special One’ and that, those are just words. In terms of being a great manager, of course he is, Tottenham were a fair way behind United and Pochettino’s a great manager; Liverpool were in the league and Klopp’s a great manager. Manchester United came second. When you’re the manager of Manchester United, when you have the CV and the background of Jose Mourinho – and this is not ancient history, this is fresh history of the Europa League and the FA Cup – then of course you have it. I was 25 when he walked through the door at Chelsea and there was an aura about him.”
The former England International continued, “He brought a confidence with him that we would win. He told us that regularly and we started to believe it. We were a group of young men and we needed a leader – and we got one. I saw his press conference when he said he was ‘The Special One’ and I liked it. I think we all liked it. All of us at Chelsea thought it was something different. The British culture isn’t to walk in and call yourself that. If you make a statement like that then you have to back it up – and he did.”
Lampard stopped short of offering any advice to Pogba on how to conduct himself with Mourinho.
He added: “I’m not going to give any advice to Paul Pogba. It will be a great headline and it backfires because he goes and scores a hat-trick, so don’t ask me.”