FRANKS A LOT Last thing Frank Lampard needs now is ‘Judas’ Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea return as pressure starts to mount

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THERE was a time not so long ago when the sound of a helicopter hovering over Cobham would have them running for cover quicker than the Vietcong in Apocalypse Now.

In the days when Roman Abramovich was still a hands-on owner, his flying visits to Chelsea’s training ground usually meant bad news for the manager

But Roman has put his chopper away since being kicked out of the UK a couple of years ago. That’s probably blessed relief for Frank Lampard, given his team’s current struggles. Six months into the job and Lampard is already starting to feel the heat. Given his inside knowledge garnered during 13 years as the finest player in the club’s history, he knows better than anyone when the mood is turning.

Only mayflies and lemmings have shorter lifespans than Chelsea managers, who seem to inevitably fall foul of the most Machiavellian dressing room in football. So Lampard probably won’t be surprised by the recent rumblings of discontent surrounding his treatment of certain disaffected players. And he certainly won’t be under any illusions about his long-term prospects if he does not get to grips with the malcontents. So the very last thing he needs right now is a visit from Jose Mourinho with a chip on both shoulders and a massive point to prove.

Mourinho will be all hugs and false bonhomie ahead of Tottenham�s visit to Stamford Bridge Saturday lunchtime. But the second the match kicks off, ‘Judas’ Jose will do absolutely everything in his power to get one over the club who once idolised him – but now can’t stand the sight of him. Tottenham were a huge ten points and ten places behind Chelsea when Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November. But victory tomorrow will take them into the top four at Chelsea’s expense – and bring a whole new world of pressure down on Lampard’s shoulders.

Having already lost at home to Valencia, Liverpool, Manchester United (twice), West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton, Chelsea’s prospects are not exactly looking bright.

They have taken two points from their last four games and in the next month also face Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Liverpool in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the league. It�s a good job Lampard is taking such a level-headed approach to the task of keeping Chelsea at the forefront of the European game. He arrived in the job with one hand tied behind his back by a Uefa transfer embargo, which prevented him from signing any new players last summer.

And even when the ban was lifted last month, the club still failed to bring in any of the recruits Lampard wanted to steady the ship. He has been forced to rely on the academy graduates, who are understandably starting to struggle.

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