PEP GUARDIOLA is convinced that Frank Lampard is already on the way to making himself a legend as a manager.
Just like the Manchester City boss’ own hero — Carlo Ancelotti.
Lamps comes up against Pep having spent almost £230million on rebooting Chelsea for a title challenge.
Instead he is under pressure after three defeats in December that will allow City to overtake his struggling side with a win today.
Yet Guardiola sees Lampard as a true Blueblood and declared: “He is an excellent manager.
“And he is a top, top, top guy — like Carlo Ancelotti who is a legend for me.
“He is one of the people I admire the most, Frank is an incredible person.
“It is nice to be involved with such a nice person.”
Guardiola also recognises not only ambition in Lampard but the desire to turn what he has always seen as his Stamford Bridge home into a place for champions again.
Catalan Guardiola made his name at Barcelona — his own spiritual home — despite moving on to Bayern Munich and then the Etihad.
Lampard spent a season as a player at Manchester City — but left for New York a year before Guardiola’s arrival in 2016. Former England midfielder Lampard cut his teeth as a boss at Derby County, then returned to the club where he spent 13 years and made himself the Blues’ 211-goal all-time top scorer.
Guardiola said: “Lampard has spent — except at the beginning at West Ham and the end at two other clubs — all his life there at Chelsea and for sure it is special for him.
I think he wants more than ever to do well — but football is tough business for everyone
“You are training where you were young, you won everything there.
“It is very special, of course it is.
“I think he wants more than ever to do well — but football is tough business for everyone.”
Yet Guardiola vows he will not drop his standards in a bid to add more silverware — and to his reputation as one of the greatest managers of his generation.
After Sunday’s Prem clash, City face Manchester United in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final, before an FA Cup third- round date with Birmingham.
But despite Covid absentees and injuries, Guardiola swears he will not back down in either competition by playing weakened teams.
He stressed: “The people who know me know we are never going to drop one competition, or even one game.”
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