Lampard played under Mourinho during the entirety of the Portuguese’s first spell in charge of the Premier League club, from 2004 until 2007, and during the first year of the manager’s second stint after Mourinho returned in 2013.
Mourinho won seven major honours with Chelsea, and Lampard has a long way to go to match that feat, with his side labouring in the Premier League this season – his second as Blues boss.
Chelsea are eighth in the table following their convincing 3-1 defeat by Manchester City last weekend and have lost four of their last six top-flight games. As such, comparisons to former coaches of the west London club are as sobering as they are inevitable, former Liverpool defender Carragher said.
“Of course it is fair [to make those comparisons], he’s the Chelsea manager,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “Nobody knows Chelsea Football Club, and how ruthless they are with managers, more than Frank Lampard.
“Having played with Frank, we get questioned whether we would be more critical of the situation if it was a different manager. They would be right, I would be a lot more critical of the managers on that list. Not because I played with Frank Lampard, but because I don’t expect him to win the Premier League or the Champions League [this season].
“The other managers that came in with CVs, years of experience, having won the big trophies – Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, all great managers – I would be more critical of them.”
But Carragher said he understands why Lampard took the Chelsea job – just his second managerial role, following a season in charge of Championship side Derby – despite his lack of experience.
“I think of players of my generation, I think of myself… I watch Jurgen Klopp on the sideline, fist-pumping The Kop when Liverpool have won, and I want to be him, it looks amazing,” Carragher said.“Frank Lampard wants to be Jose Mourinho, John Terry wants to be Jose Mourinho, I’m sure Thierry Henry looks at Arsene Wenger and thinks: ‘I’d love to do that, I could do that.’
“What I’d say about players of my generation, and why I do punditry, is that I want to be Jurgen Klopp managing Liverpool, but I don’t want to go to Mainz for seven years and work my way up. That’s what I’m talking about with Frank. I actually admire the job he did last year, and [after the Manchester City defeat] I admired his interview.
“Frank went into a top job on the back of 12 months at Derby, the experience isn’t there. He didn’t get the job on the back of being a great manager, he got it because of Chelsea and Frank Lampard.
“Gary Neville went to Valencia, big job, how could he say no? Thierry Henry went to Monaco. How could Frank say no to Chelsea? But they don’t have that experience to fall back on, they haven’t learned the ups and downs of management and coaching.
“Steven Gerrard has gone to Rangers and is doing really well and it looks like they might win the title this season. But would I want Steven Gerrard to be Liverpool manager without more experience? Possibly not.
“I just think when you get those really big jobs and you haven’t got that experience, you’ve got nothing to fall back on when times are tough, as they will be now over the next few weeks for Frank.”
Chelsea’s next outing is due to be an FA Cup third-round fixture at home against League Two side Morecambe on Sunday.
Facing opposition from three tiers below should represent a perfect opportunity for Chelsea to get back to winning ways – should the game go ahead in the midst of coronavirus-related concerns.
Morecambe were last week forced to call off two games due to the effects of the pandemic.
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