Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised the way the Blues played when Lampard first took over despite losing two games on the spin.
The ex Blues midfielder was hired in 2019 and tasked with competing with the Premier League’s top sides despite being under a transfer ban and losing influential winger Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Lampard got off to a losing start in charge, being downed 4-0 away to Manchester United.
That defeat was followed up with a losing effort in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool on penalties.
Suffering back-to-back losses, Lampard said he was ‘disheartened’. But when asked by Gary Neville what manager he would have loved to have played for, Chelsea’s record goalscorer replied with Guardiola.
“Pep,” he told Sky Sports. “I just think, when I finished he’s so great with managers pep as well. Sometimes you only see his teams that he produces which is obviously the real stuff but behind the scenes of things he does with LMA, helping other managers.
“He sent me certain voice notes. I don’t like giving private conversation but it’s a nice one.
“When I had my first game for Chelsea, we lost 4-0 to Man Utd, and we played well for 60 minutes, then we got done on the counter – bang bang two, three and it was four.
“At face value it’s 4-0, you can’t defend it as a manager, it’s 4-0, you have to take it on the chin.
“Then we went to the Super Cup and played Liverpool. Played well, lost on penalties. So I was on the plane on the way back from the game, a little bit disheartened and I got a voice note from him just saying the way my team, he said, had played he said was incredible – ‘I love watching it blah blah blah.’
“Really positive chat.”
Lampard then joked that the message self-destructed like something out of a Mission Impossible movie, before adding that Guardiola left an impression on him.
“It was one of those voice notes that deleted itself, almost like a self-destruct. I wanted to go home and say, ‘Listen to this, everyone, Pep said I was a good manager!’
“You know, just thinks things like that, touches, that make an impression on you as a manager, myself or people around you.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in your own world that you don’t see things and the fact that he’s doing the business and sending you a voice note like that, I thought was special.”