London (AFP) – Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he will never follow Jose Mourinho’s lead and manage London rivals Tottenham.
Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas, who coached both clubs, called the partnership between Mourinho and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy an “unusual marriage”.
Mauricio Pochettino was sacked this week and two-time Chelsea boss Mourinho jumped straight into the hot seat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
When asked if he could ever envisage managing the north London outfit, Lampard replied: “I can firmly say ‘no’, and you can replay that again in 10 years. It wouldn’t happen but I think things are different for me.”
Lampard, who played under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, added: “I was here for 13 years as a player and have an absolutely deep feeling for a club.
“Chelsea is certainly so close to my heart, hence why I am so proud to manage the club and why I wouldn’t manage Tottenham.
“That’s no disrespect to anyone, it’s just because of what Chelsea has given me over my time as a player and now, it’s certainly not on my list.”
Asked if he was surprised Mourinho took the helm at Tottenham, Lampard said: “That’s only his decision, and you make that decision as you go.
“He’s managed a lot of football clubs and that’s what happens. If fans judge you that’s out of your hands. As a professional you have to understand the right to work.”
– Winner Mourinho –
Marseille boss Villas-Boas also expressed reservations about his mentor Mourinho working for Levy.
“They are two characters,” he said. “I don’t think it will work very well, but if a coach in the world can make Tottenham win, it is Jose, wherever he has gone he has won.”
“He goes to a club and his owner whom I know well,” said Villas-Boas.
“So yes, it’s short-term, but it’s contrary to Tottenham’s philosophy. It’s expensive. For Levy, all men are numbers, but with Jose, they’re high numbers…”
Villas-Boas worked as an assistant to Mourinho at Porto and then Inter Milan and said he was “very happy” his former boss was coaching again because he “cannot go 11 months without a club. Some take a sabbatical year, like me, but with Jose that’s not the case.
“Jose is obsessed with football, I hope he will enjoy this special club.”
Lampard revealed he had sent Mourinho a good-luck message.
“We had a couple of messages just to wish him well in his new role as he has always done for me,” the 41-year-old said.
“I think history and results speak for themselves — the trophies, titles he’s managed to win at clubs, they are not surprises, they are for the hard work he’s put in. He’s done that consistently.”
For Chelsea’s visit to champions Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, Christian Pulisic is in contention, having returned to full training after a groin problem.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has a hamstring issue and is a long-shot to face Pep Guardiola’s side.
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