Jose Mourinho has revealed that Frank Lampard’s decision to play for Manchester City this season surprised both him and Chelsea, as they had their own assumptions on how the rest of his career would play out.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday with Chris Kamara and Ben Shephard, The Special One admitted he believed that Lampard had left Stamford Bridge because the motivation the player has to perform his role as a backup option at the Etihad Stadium was different to the motivation he had to undertake a similar duty at Chelsea.
Mourinho on Lampard
He then detailed how he and the club thought Lampard was definitely going to the US to see out his career.
Mourinho expressed his surprise that the 36-year-old had ended up in Manuel Pellegrini’s fold, suggesting that prior to that the club would have even made a new department to accommodate him upon his return to Chelsea after hanging up his boots.
“We thought that he was leaving to the States, and we thought that a couple of years later he was coming back to Chelsea to do whatever he wants,” Mourinho explained.
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“First-team coach, assistant manager, ambassador, experience in the academy, director of… For Frank we would have found even a new department for Frank to be the director to do what he wants. What Frank represents for Chelsea for more than one decade, what he did for Chelsea for more than one decade, was something amazing.
“We were surprised by his decision to go to Man City.”
"We were surprised by his decision to go to Man City"
Lampard at City
Of course that surprise would have turned into bitter resentment when Lampard stroked home City’s equaliser against the Blues during his first match against his former club. Had he not done so then the Premier League title could well have been a foregone conclusion by now, and it could yet turn out to be a vitally important goal for Pellegrini’s side.
It’s unfair however to blame Lampard for opting for the Etihad given how well he’s served them this season. Abandoning the Premier League for the MLS whilst he still boasted considerable ability would have a shame, and if he can help City achieve any sort of success before the summer his decision to link-up up with the Citizens will have been vindicated.
Chelsea fans, were you hurt by Lampard’s decision to join Manchester City? Let us know in the comments box below...