JOSE MOURINHO isn’t just one of the best managers in the business, he’s also a classic wind-up merchant.
He loves all that and has been at it for years, as Frank Lampard found out when they had a bit of a spat as Chelsea played Tottenham a couple of months ago.
Funnily enough, though, I never had any run-ins with him. Mind you, I didn’t have much trouble with anyone really and I’ve an idea why — I had Joe Jordan on the touchline!
Let’s face it, you’re not going to start on me when he’s there, even with his teeth in! If anyone was at it, he’d just look across and say, “Hey you, sit down”.
It was like he was telling his dog to get off the chair, but they’d always sit back down on their side of the dugout.
I couldn’t tell you how many opposition people he told over the years and sometimes I’d have to apologise for him after the game.
Joe is very quiet, an absolutely lovely man, but like a lot of the quiet ones, you wouldn’t take liberties with him. If he said something you listened, believe me.
He kept himself in such great shape as well. He’d be in the gym at 7am every single day, an hour before anyone else got in. I took Joe with me to Portsmouth, then Tottenham and QPR too and you could bet your life on him.
It amazes me no young boss has taken him because he’d be a great asset.
Going back to Frank and Jose, some people have built up that row at the Carabao Cup game into something it’s not ahead of Chelsea playing Spurs again today.
I speak to Frank a lot and know he got a bit of the hump after Jose said he didn’t get off the bench when he was losing 3-0 at West Brom, but it was something and nothing.
When Mourinho first went to Chelsea, he called Frank into the office and said he was going to make him the best goalscoring midfielder in the world.
He gave him so much belief and confidence and has always admitted he owes Jose so much. There’s a lot of respect there.
You’ll often get a bit aggy on the touchline. Frank had a bit of a row with Jurgen Klopp as well, but there’s no problem there either.
After the game it’s all forgotten, you’ll have a cup of tea or a drink and you just get on with it — although it’s so different these days.
Back then you’d go in the manager’s office for a glass of wine, then your trainer or whoever would come in and say, “The lads are on the coach and we’re waiting for go”.
The fish and chips would have been ordered and he’d be standing there shouting out the orders, with the salt and vinegar and the sauce.
There were also times the trainer would be sent back to tell the team they’d have to wait because they were f***ing useless — even though you’d be starving yourself!
That’s not something Frank or Jose will be doing because there’s so much a manager has to do after a game these days.
The one certainty is it should be a cracking game because both Chelsea and Spurs have got a serious chance of being right up there this season.
I’ve said all along that Mourinho has a fantastic squad with cover in every position — and most of them are established internationals as well.
But Frank is building a great squad too, he’s getting backing from the owner and I’ve no doubt he will be a massive success.
If the fans were allowed in I’d have fancied that to give Chelsea a little edge, but as it is I really can’t split the two teams.
It should be a really good battle with all those stars, but if I had to put my house on it I’d go for the draw.
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