Mourinho to pick and choose Lampard appearances on Chelsea return

Jose Mourinho has admitted that Frank Lampard will have to take on a lighter workload at Chelsea, the Guardian has reported, but the Blues manager still sees the experienced midfielder as crucial to the team’s cause.

Lampard, 35, signed a one-year contract extension late last season and is among Chelsea’s longest-serving players, having moved to Stamford Bridge from West Ham in 2001. He is one of half-a-dozen members of the squad to have played under Mourinho during the Portuguese’s first spell at the club, between 2004 and 2007 but the manager has said there will be times that Lampard has to sit out matches in order to maintain his fitness.

What has to change is the way we analyse competition. Before we didn’t analyse. Before it was: ‘Every match, he plays,’” Mourinho said, adding: “Sometimes I wanted to give him a rest in a League Cup match and he would say: ‘If you give me a rest, the next match I will not be the same because I have to play every three days.’

I believe he is the same player, with the difference that he is 35 and the time [needed] to recover from match to match is not the same for a man of 35 to a man of 25. That’s the only point. Now we have to analyse the fixtures, analyse the matches, analyse the week we have and to make a few choices.

The Guardian notes that Lampard played the majority of Chelsea’s matches last season – 50 out of 69 – and scored 17 goals, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer in the process. But Mourinho revealed he intends to use Lampard’s experience in the manner he turned to that of Claude Makelele, who became Mourinho’s on-field representative.

Frank can’t play 60 matches like he did before, but the quality of the player and what he represents for the way I like to play football is exactly the same,” Mourinho continued. “He’s intelligent, he’s open, he has a very good relationship with me. He knows that I’m very experienced and he knows what I did, for example, with Makelele here in the last two years of Makelele.

He knows I know how to do it with players of his age, because at the end of the day we have to be just clever, because the player is the same.

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