Frank Lampard has said it would not be a surprise if Chelsea’s supporters voice their anger at José Mourinho for becoming Tottenham’s manager.
Mourinho is likely to face a fierce reception from the away end when Tottenham host his old side on Sunday and Lampard believes his former manager’s decision to join one of Chelsea’s fiercest rivals may not be forgiven by fans.
“It’s a trap and a half as a question, that,” Chelsea’s manager said. “I can see the headline now, agreeing with the fans or not. If you go to the fiercest rivals, the fans will give the answer. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten the history or don’t respect it. José Mourinho is a manager who wants to work. He took that opportunity.”
Lampard, who played under Mourinho across the manager’s two spells at Chelsea, believes the Portuguese will brush off any taunts from the stands. “José won’t be too concerned about that,” he said. “Look at the times he’s come back with Manchester United. It did look like he doesn’t care.”
Lampard led Derby County to a Carabao Cup victory over Mourinho’s Manchester United last season and admits he is on first-name terms with his old boss now. “I would always have big respect for all my managers,” he said. “If I was to text or ring a manager, I’d always call them boss or gaffer. Even long gone.
“When you go up against someone like that, influential, I knew it was different. It was a good honour to go up against him but I wanted to beat him. It would be strange to call him boss now. Now I am an ex-player, on this side of the fence, I won’t be calling him boss. But that doesn’t take away from the respect I have for him.
“The problem with this is it’s not the me and José show. It’s a game against Tottenham. I want to beat him. I respect him and know what a top manager he is. He wants to beat me because he used to manage Chelsea, he used to manage me, and now he’s managing Tottenham and wants to beat us.”
Tammy Abraham has told Chelsea that he wants to become one of their highest earners during talks over a new deal. The striker will have two years left on his deal at the end of the season and the Stamford Bridge club intended to offer a five-year contract worth £100,000 a week.
However progress has been slow since talks began in September and it is understood that Abraham, who has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, has adjusted his expectations since Callum Hudson-Odoi signed a new deal worth £120,000 a week. Abraham believes he deserves more than Hudson-Odoi, who has dipped in and out of form since returning from a serious achilles injury.
Abraham does not have as much leverage as Hudson-Odoi, who was in danger of running down his contract and a target for Bayern Munich. However, the expectation is that Chelsea will improve their initial offer to Abraham, who has become one of Lampard’s most important players. They are keen to tie down their academy products and are in talks with Reece James over a new deal. The promising 20-year-old right-back will also have two years left on his contract at the end of the season.