History

Lampard: Mourinho is best manager I've played for

20 Jul 2015
Frank Lampard said Jose Mourinho was the best manager he played for

Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer hailed Mourinho's impact as the Blues won their first PL title

Frank Lampard signed off on an illustrious Premier League career in typical fashion, bursting into the penalty area to open the scoring as Manchester City beat Southampton 2-0 in May 2015.

It was the former England midfielder's 177th goal in 609 top-flight appearances, with 147 of those coming after he moved across London from West Ham United to Chelsea in 2001.

Two years after Lampard's arrival at Stamford Bridge, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich transformed Chelsea and, with Jose Mourinho at the helm, the Blues collected their first English league title for 50 years in 2004/05.

Lampard netted both goals on the day Chelsea secured the crown with a 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers.

He completed the season with 13 league goals, helping him win the Player of the Season, as Mourinho's men finished 12 points clear of Arsenal.  Chelsea earned 95 points lost just once.

"He's brilliant, a real man-manager, and he made us believe we could win the league that season."

Frank Lampard on Jose Mourinho

"I was at a fantastic club in Chelsea that had a very good team," said Lampard, who won three PL titles at the club. "I joined before the Abramovich years, and it became a golden era.

"I feel fortunate to have been involved in that. Winning the Premier League is the ultimate in terms of what you see growing up; to have a league medal and to be part of a strong team.

"We had a very strong team at that time; just look at the depth of the squad.

"Even though Chelsea hadn't won it before, we won the Premier League pretty comfortably in the end, winning 29 of our 38 games."

Frank Lampard scores a double against Bolton to clinch Chelsea's BPL title
Frank Lampard scores a double against Bolton to clinch Chelsea's BPL title

Stars such as Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba established themselves as key figures in Chelsea history as a result of their consistently impressive performances.

But Lampard reserves praise for Mourinho, the self-styled "Special One”.

"We were a new team under Jose Mourinho," he said. "We were fresh, very hungry to win it and had a fantastic manager, which obviously helped.

"Jose is the best manager I've been fortunate enough to play under; he's brilliant, a real man-manager, and he made us believe we could win the league that season.

"We created a big thing for Chelsea as a football club because we hadn't won the title for 50 years, so that was a very important moment for the club and for us as a team."

Mourinho rekindled the dominance of his first spell at Chelsea by leading the Blues to a resounding title triumph in 2014/15, his first PL title since returning to Stamford Bridge in June 2013.

Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho celebrate PL title
Lampard said Jose Mourinho made Chelsea believe they could win the title

But Lampard believes the 2004/05 vintage has the edge on both the 2014/15 Chelsea line-up and the free-scoring team that claimed the top prize under Carlo Ancelotti in 2009/10.

"That rivals any other Premier League team for me," he said. "We were a mixture of everything. It is a team that has sometimes been given a bad name outside the club, accused of being efficient and winning games 1-0.

"In reality we were bashing teams, [Arjen] Robben flying down one wing and [Damien] Duff the other. We beat teams 4-0 but when we couldn't do that, we still won 1-0. That was the beauty of that team.

"We finished second to Arsenal the year before but there was a feeling right through the club that we would win it in 2005. Jose Mourinho brought a mindset with him.

"We also had a really good team under Carlo Ancelotti when we won the championship but we weren't as consistent. That 2005 team was a bit of machine, possibly more so than the Chelsea team last year."

To read premierleague.com's review of the 2004/05 Premier League season, click here.

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