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Forget Mourinho vs Lampard — it’s Chelsea’s youngsters who have a point to prove against the Special One

Chelsea’s trip to Spurs on Sunday is all about Jose Mourinho up against Frank Lampard.

The master versus the apprentice. The former player up against his old manager.

But perhaps the real narrative is how the Blues youth stars — notably the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, who’ve both impressed this season — can show up the Portuguese for his previous comments and general lack of faith in them in the past.


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Mourinho, despite everything he says about Scott McTominay, has not always been the most youth-friendly manager.

Over the years he’s often preferred to bring in someone tried and tested rather than take a punt on academy graduates with high potential.

His preferences reared their ugly head at the very start of the season when he was in the Sky Sports studio for the Blues first game of the Premier League campaign at Man United.

After watching the London side run out 4-0 losers at Old Trafford, Mourinho claimed Lampard was wrong to pick inexperienced youngsters like Abraham and Mount for the curtain opener.

“A little bit of experience [from Chelsea] would fit well with the team,” he said back in August.

“You look to the performance of Mason Mount, the performance of Tammy Abraham, you look to the performance even of [Andreas] Christensen and for matches of this dimension you need a little bit more.”

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What’s worse is how these young players were so unceremoniously doubted when Mourinho was at Chelsea.

The likes of Abraham and his teammates Fikayo Tomori and Ruben Loftus-Cheek — all considered first-team favourites these days — were in and around the squad during Mourinho’s ill-fated final campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Tammy and Tomori each made an appearance or two from the bench in the 2015/16 season, while Loftus-Cheek was begrudgingly given the odd game here and there.

All three academy graduates eventually earned their place in the Chelsea squad after various loan spells away from the club.

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In fact Mourinho seemed to be at war with Chelsea’s young players during the final few months of his previous Stamford Bridge tenure; famously claiming Loftus-Cheek lacked the right attitude to really push on at the club.

In many ways, a win over Spurs on Sunday would probably more even more to these youngsters than it would to Lampard.


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