Mourinho rolls back the years in touchline duel with Lambert
Days into the season and the Chelsea boss has proved that a leopard can't change its spots
IT HAS not taken Jose Mourinho long to get back into the swing of things as Chelsea boss. As his side scraped a win against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge he reminded everyone what they had been missing for the last six years, as he clashed with opposing manager Paul Lambert on the touchline and afterwards showered him with a curious mixture of brickbats and bouquets.
The game was not short of flashpoints, and there were angry exchanges between the two managers. First, Villa were furious that Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic escaped a red card for a foul on striker Christian Benteke, and the visitors were even more angry when he scored what turned out to be the winner.
Lambert was also upset that the referee waved away claims for a handball by John Terry in injury time, with Chelsea clinging on to a 2-1 lead.
Having squared up to the Villa manager during the game, "Chelsea's boss wasted little time in trying to put Lambert in his place following a feisty evening in which the hosts ran out 2-1 winners in controversial circumstances," says the Daily Mail.
Mourinho did so by highlighting Lambert's lack of experience and contrasting it with his own self-proclaimed maturity.
"My view is that Paul reminds me of me when I was his age," said Mourinho. "He complains about every decision. That is exactly how I was ten years ago. He needs time, like I needed time, to have some more maturity... I wish him well. I like him."
It was typical Mourinho, and it bodes well for the "dismal British winter", says Eurosport.
"If Chelsea supporters thought they were getting a watered-down version, a more mature vision of the Jose who left six years ago, they need only have witnessed the touchline duel with the Villa manager Paul Lambert to realise that a leopard never changes its spots," says Eurosport. "It is glorious news. Whether or not you like him as a character, he has a touch of the theatre about him.
According to The Guardian, the Chelsea boss came over "almost nostalgic at the sight of Lambert's explosive touchline theatrics". His comments afterwards were "classic Mourinho" reminiscent of his first stint at Chelsea, claims NBC. ·