For 13 years, between 2001 and 2014, John Terry and Frank Lampard were teammates.
During that period at Chelsea, the pair played significant roles in the club’s continuous Premier League titles, domestic cups and a Champions League and Europa League apiece.
Four years on, and the London pair have swapped the capital for the Midlands.
On Saturday, for the first time, they’ll pit their wits against each other on the touch-line as Aston Villa make the short journey to Derby County.
Terry, a coach under manager Dean Smith, arguably knows Rams boss Lampard better than anyone in a footballing capacity.
Lampard certainly seems to have taken to management promisingly, and he’ll hope his side’s good recent form continues when they face the claret and blues.
He and Terry were tipped to make the step up during the later stages of their playing days, and the position Terry now finds himself in is no surprise at all to his old colleague and friend.
“Myself and John were similar as players – we were very driven in our playing careers. We weren’t jumping ahead of ourselves,” Lampard said. “We’d maybe talk about the coaches we had at the time but it was more how it affected our playing careers.
“I would have expected John would go into management – always. He is that type of person. Whether he expected me to go into it I don’t know. I do feel he has the attributes to be a top one.
“Hard work, influencing people around him, knowing the game so well from being a centre-back at the highest level for 20 years. There’s more to him than that but in terms of the basics he has it all.”
They’d normally chat during the week about football matters, but in the build up to their first ever meeting across the technical areas, they and former Chelsea teammate Jody Morris – Lampard’s assistant at Pride Park – they’ve decided against it.
“We won’t be this week I would have no problem with that normally. We are tight, as is Jody Morris with John. We have no issue with communicating,” Lampard continued.
“You don’t have to cut ties as friends or even to talk football with people – just because you work for different clubs.
“This week we’ve put it to the side, though.”
How will Villa get on at Derby?
3000+ VOTES SO FAR
On Jack Grealish, who Villa tied down to a new long-term contract in the summer following much speculation and interest from Premier League Tottenham Hotspur, Lampard reckons it was a decision that will live to benefit all parties concerned as the attacking midfielder continues his development at his boyhood club.
“The fact they were able to keep him when he was so wanted by a Premier League club,” he said. “It was probably the best move for Jack in terms of his progression.”
Whatever the result this weekend, Lampard and Terry will be reunited – in the home manager’s office, along with Smith and members of each set of coaching staff.
“Of course – and with Dean. I really like Dean Smith, too,” Lampard added. “Any manager that comes here is welcome in the office for a glass of wine.”
Source : BirminghamMail