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Jose Mourinho: Modern football 'brats' are not like Frank Lampard at 23

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 22/03/2017 Tom Doyle
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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says he is working hard to keep up with the modern game's "brats" who lack the maturity of the likes of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

Mourinho manager Lampard during his two spells at Chelsea, with the midfielder winning every possible club trophy and going on to become the all-time top goalscorer at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard has since retired, while Mourinho took over at Old Trafford last summer having been sacked by Chelsea midway through the Blues' disastrous 2015-16 Premier League title defence.

In an exclusive interview with France Football, translated by Get French Football, the Portuguese coach admits that while there are few young players left with the attitude and dedication of Lampard, now is not the time for managers to rely on methods of old.

Mourinho - who recently derided "envious" critics of United's world-record £89million signing Paul Pogba - said: "I had to adapt to a new world. To what young players are now.

"I had to understand the difference between working with a boy like Frank Lampard, who, at the age of 23 was already a man, who thought football, work, professionalism, and the new boys who at the age of 23 are kids.

"Today I call them 'boys' not 'men'. Because I think that they are brats and that everything that surrounds them does not help them in their life nor in my work.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited "I had to adjust to all that. 10 years ago, no player had a mobile phone in the dressing room. That is no longer the case.

"But you have to go with it, because if you fight that, you are bringing about conflict and you put yourself in the stone age."

Pressed on the matter, Mourinho said: "If you stop a player from doing something, even something a little stupid, on social media, you are going against nature.

"I admit that having a son and a daughter at that sort of age has helped me to understand the way they function and what the world is today.

"I measured, from a methodological point of view, the nature of change. I worked as a result with my assistants to better, modify and adapt our work.

"Technology has given us new tools. Modernity and science too. But the key to everything, in terms of the leadership aspect, is to understand the people that you are working with today."

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