Mourinho EASE pressure on ageing Chelsea favourite Lampard(SPORT)

Frank Lampard

Jose Mourinho admits he must devise a way to lighten the load on Frank Lampard and ensure Chelsea continue to get the best return from their record goalscorer.
In three full seasons from 2004-07, Lampard started 170 games for Mourinho, scoring 60 goals, but, six years on, the 35-year-old midfielder with 203 Chelsea goals behind him can expect to be deployed more tactically.
Mourinho helped extend the careers of Claude Makelele and Javier Zanetti at the top level in this way and believes it is the key to preserving Lampard.
The role doesn’t have to change,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘What has to change is the way we analyse competition. Before we didn’t analyse, before it was, “Every match, he plays”. Sometimes I wanted to give him a rest in a Carling Cup match and he’d say, “If you give me a rest, in the next match I will not be the same because I have to play every three days”.‘We have just to make some choices. I believe he is the same player and the only difference is he is 35. The time needed to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 25 as a man of 35.  I cannot coach Lampard at 35 the same way I coached Lampard at 27.’

Lampard and Mourinho  

Lampard was one of Mourinho’s original ‘Untouchables’ and has played 650 times for Chelsea, often belying his advancing years. Even last season, under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez, he made 58 appearances,  starting in all but 10 of those, scoring 17 from midfield during a campaign when Chelsea played 69 games.
‘He can’t play 60 matches like he did before, but the quality of the player and what he represents for the way I like to play football is exactly the same,’ said Mourinho.
‘He’s intelligent, he’s open and he has a very good relationship with me. He knows what I did with Makelele here in the last two years of Makelele. He knows I know how to do it with players of his age because, at the end of the day, we have to be just clever.’
Lampard and Mourinho  

Zanetti is nearly five years older than Lampard and is still playing in Serie A, a vital part of Inter Milan and, like Lampard, the Argentine has signed a new one-year deal.
Mourinho said of Zanetti: ‘He’s still there. I like players without passports. Performance is how good you are, not your passport or birth certificate.’ 
Lampard has yet to take part in a full training session during Chelsea’s tour of Asia because of a sore achilles tendon. He has not played in pre-season and will not feature today, when Mourinho’s team complete this leg of their preparations against an Indonesia XI, with the manager promoting a ‘no-risk’ strategy.


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