Lamps and Big Phil find bond as Blues brothers

If there is one Chelsea player whose spirit and stature might be expected to impress a new manager it is probably the indomitable John Terry. Yet although Luiz Felipe Scolari admires Terry sufficiently to recommend him to Fabio Capello as England captain, he chooses someone different as the embodiment of the club.

"Frank Lampard," Scolari said during an enlightening and good-humoured media conference lasting 90 minutes on Friday, "is a symbol of Chelsea. Him signing a new contract is what I want and need. Frank loves his job, he loves Chelsea, loves football."

The admiration appears to be mutual. Asked to compare the newcomer with Jose Mourinho, whom he was sorely tempted to join up with again at Internazionale, Lampard said: "You could see Scolari had a slightly different character the way he managed Portugal, the way he held himself on the line. That was good to see. We all like to see that kind of passion. Once the real thing starts you'll see that even more, how much he wants to be successful."

But for his mother's sudden death just before the end of last season, the lure of Italy would have been even stronger for Lampard. That sad event, however, brought an already close-knit London family closer together; and he was genuinely touched by the response from not only Chelsea but decent supporters throughout the English game.

"It has been completely overwhelming," he said. "I have had thousands of letters at the training ground. Chelsea fans have been special but I have had lots of letters from Manchester United fans, Liverpool fans, even West Ham fans. That is a breath of fresh air for me because sometimes football can make you cynical and you forget about the things that really matter. I read every letter and am in the process of trying to get back to them all."

It is appropriate, then, that he will start the new season today against a Portsmouth team managed by Uncle Harry Redknapp, once abused by West Ham fans for supposed nepotism in picking his young nephew: "I've been lucky to have great managers throughout my career and I was even luckier to have a manager in Harry who set me on the way and taught me all the values in football. He has always given me great advice and is a very wise man. The job he has done at Portsmouth is phenomenal.

"You realise exactly where they were when he came and where they are now, and look at their team player for player with the internationals and the quality they have got. There is no manager who can do the job in quite the way Harry does. He takes a player who maybe a club doesn't want, or who is coming to the end of his career, or a young player who other people don't want, and gives them a confidence and freedom to play. He has done that with Portsmouth and the way they play now, compared to staring relegation in the face, is all down to Harry."

Scolari, meanwhile, is looking forward to his first game as a club manager for seven years, hoping his one signing, Deco, will overcome a slight ankle injury, even if that gives the manager a problem in deciding who plays in midfield. With Didier Drogba injured, Nicolas Anelkais likely to play as the one central striker, offering a challenge to the manager, who wants him to be "more aggressive, more explosive". "Le Sulk" could prove a suitable case for treatmentby the female Brazilian psycho-logist Scolari is considering bringing to London if need be.

Lampard, he knows, will be in no need of motivation.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment